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What types of natural products can be used for our oral health?

 The truth is that there is a multitude of substances, mostly derived from plants.

What types of natural products can be used for our oral health?

One of the most studied substances in recent years is green tea, the unfermented product of Camellia sinensis leaves, whose polyphenolic components are catechins. The most important of these is epigallocatechin-3-gallate, which has beneficial effects on periodontal tissues and caries bacteria, whether consumed systemically or applied locally in toothpaste and mouthwashes, due to its antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. It prevents the adhesion of bacteria, in this case, caries and periodontitis bacteria. Studies suggest that it may be a good active ingredient to add to toothpaste.

Another very interesting product is curcumin, a compound extracted from turmeric. Its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties are well known. Studies have shown that the use of a 0.1% curcumin mouthwash (dissolving curcumin extract in distilled water) in patients with gingivitis can be comparable to the effect of using a chlorhexidine mouthwash in reducing gingival inflammation and also reduces free radicals, so that clinical studies already suggest it as a potential alternative to chlorhexidine mouthwashes, due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Propolis or propolis is another well-studied natural substance. It is the name of a resinous, adhesive material produced by bees and collected from plant exudates, enriched with their saliva, and used by bees in the construction of hives. It is the bees' main weapon against bacteria, viruses, and other parasites. It was already used by the Egyptians to embalm their dead and by the Greeks to treat abscesses. It seems that its antibacterial activity depends on the synergy of its many components, including a type of polyphenol, and flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants. In terms of oral health, it has been introduced as an active substance in mouthwashes, toothpaste and even chewing gum, with the aim of preventing the accumulation of bacterial plaque and, consequently, the appearance of gingivitis.

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