The Dental Network of America realizes that a lot of people have opted for the all-natural way of life when it comes to their oral health, even going so far as to say that fluoride is unhealthy. And while we believe a lot of this hullabaloo is media hype, we cannot deny our interest in going natural. But is there really something that can remove plaque just a well as good old fashioned brushing and flossing. Well, according to dentists at Darby dental, nothing can replace the conventional way we care for our teeth. This is a proven method that works. However, there are some benefits to all-natural cleansing products as we will see in the following study.
Good oral hygiene and twice a year visits to your dentist are a MUST DO, suggest experts at Darby Dental. Nothing can replace these activities when you want to keep your teeth in good shape and your mouth as healthy as possible, or at the very least, when you want to refrain from having to find a dentist open on weekends.
“It is your dentist who can spot initial health concerns that may lead to larger health issues,” suggest experts at the Dental Network of America. “And because your dentist is able to identify the issue early on, he is able to eliminate the problem before it becomes a real issue,” suggest the experts at Park Dental St. Louis Park. “Your dentist can identify plaque, gingivitis and periodontal disease which when left unchecked can cause heart attacks, diabetes and in some cases, even death.”
Now that having been said, this does not mean your dentist does not believe in natural remedies and their possible benefits to your oral health. “What we do say is that there are no extensive studies that demonstrate either the benefits or the disadvantages to these remedies,” suggest the team at Park Dental St. Louis.
Still, most doctors and dentists are perfectly willing to look into the benefits of natural herbs, state the doctors at Darby Dental. “We hate to see people suffering and having to go out and find dentists open on weekends just as much as you do.” That’s why these doctors join medical professionals around the world in the decision to conduct more research into herbal benefits as the study listed below.
A Study on the Benefits of Green Tea and Miswak
Recent investigations are being made into the benefits of certain herbs and natural products and their benefits on oral health. Let’s look at a recent study made by the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
In the study, only a 24/hour plaque re-growth protocol was used. The researchers decided to examine the effects of an all-natural mouthwash made of green tea and miswak extract.
The Purpose of the Study According to Park Dental St. Louis Park
The purpose was to determine if the Green tea and miswak mouthwash could inhibit the 24-hour growth of dental plaque.
What is Dental Plaque?
As explained by the Dental Network of America, Dental plaque is the substance that causes cavities. There are over 700 strains of bacteria in your mouth. Most of these are innocuous and even beneficial, however, there are two general types of bacteria that feed off of the starches, carbs, and sugars left in your mouth. The byproduct this bacteria gives off is a type of acid we call plaque, and this is what eats at the enamel of teeth causing cavities. Today, dental plaque is the main cause of caries and periodontal disease.
What is Periodontal Disease?
This is a disease of the gums that starts as being gingivitis. Infected gums pull away from teeth and cause them to loosen. Signs of Gingivitis and Periodontal problems include:
- Red swollen gums
- Gum bleeding
- Loose teeth
The Use of Natural Miswak in Mouthwash
Miswak twigs from the Salvadora persica tree have antibacterial properties. Twigs have been used as chewing sticks for oral hygiene for centuries. In fact, the tree is known locally as the toothbrush tree.
Similar cleansing properties are attributed to the leaves of green tea. The leaves of the Camellia sinensis var (green tea) have also sown biological activities that may enhance oral health.
Students at the University of Malaya decided to combine moth natural remedies to study its plaque-inhibiting properties. The mixed mouthwash consisted of 0.25 mg of green tea and 7.82 mg of Salvadora persica. The study was conducted on 14 participants who prior to initiating received full oral health reviews and education.
The Trial Period
On the first day of the trial half the participants rinsed twice with 15 ml of the test formula, and the other half rinsed with a placebo mouthwash made of 0.12% chlorhexidine (a combination of distilled water used in many mouthwash products).
Participants were also asked to forego any other oral hygiene methods for the 24-hour test period. The rinse process was repeated three times a day during the study.
According to experts at Darby Dental, researchers analyzed the plaque index after 24 hours of all participants. The results showed that the participants using the miswak and green tea mixture experienced a significant reduction of plaque when compared to the participants using the placebo mouthwash. The finding was surprising especially because the placebo mouthwash is considered a standard in most mouthwash products.
Added to this, the participants who used the miswak and green tea mixture also had fewer biofilm promoting bacterial on their teeth.
Researchers now seem more open towards some natural remedies like the green tea and miswak rinse. The researchers of this study concluded that this mixture could be an effective way of controlling plaque. However, this was only a short-term study and they do feel that long-term study of the effects are warranted.
Most doctors, including those at Monarch Dental and Adirondack Oral Surgery, agree that natural remedies such as this are not to replace the standard dental visit patients need to make yearly, however they could improve oral health and keep you from looking for those dentists open on weekends. This type of remedy shouldn’t replace regular brushing and flossing either. However, a natural remedy used in combination with proven oral hygiene techniques and under the supervision of your dentist can be beneficial, especially in situations where brushing your teeth may not be possible, for example at work or during a trip.