Study: Naturally controlling dental plaque using botanical extracts

A 24-hour plaque re-growth, double-blind, randomized crossover trial supported preliminary findings that a mouthwash containing natural extracts was better at maintaining oral hygiene than standard chemicals. Authors of the study, which was published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, concluded that their results suggest an alternative means for people to control dental plaque and improve their oral health without resorting to potentially toxic chemical mouthwashes.

  • The same team of researchers earlier investigated the effects of a combination blend of 0.25 mg/mL of green tea and 7.82 mg/ml of Miswak (Salvadora persica L.) on plaque adherence and bacteria elimination.
  • This clinical trial was performed with the goal of assessing the same potential effects of the two items on plaque formation.
  • Fourteen participants were randomly rinsed with: the test formulation; 0.12 percent chlorhexidine (control), and placebo mouthwashes for 24 hours.
  • During the trial, participants were rinsed with 15 ml of a randomly allocated mouthwash twice daily without any other oral hygiene measure.
  • Each participant’s plaque index was scored after 24 hours.
  • Participants then began a six-day washout period with regular oral hygiene measures.
  • The same protocol was repeated for the next two types of mouthwash.
  • Researchers observed that the test mouthwash reduced plaque accumulation better compared to the placebo and chlorhexidine.
  • Interestingly, no difference was found between chlorhexidine and placebo.

The researchers concluded that natural mouthwashes containing green tea and Miswak promote oral health better than chemical varieties. Further, the effects of chlorhexidine are insubstantial and are similar to placebo washes.

Read the full text of the study at this link.

Natural is always better. Learn more ways to care for your mouth at

Journal reference

Abdulbaqi, H., Himratul-Aznita, W., and Baharuddin, N. EVALUATION OF SALVADORA PERSICA L. AND GREEN TEA ANTI-PLAQUE EFFECT: A RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED CROSSOVER CLINICAL TRIAL. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine; 2016, 16:493. DOI: 10.1186/s12906-016-1487-0

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