Whole-leaf aloe in dentistry and oral applications
Powerful help with tooth decay, gingivitis, periodontitis, and more
Medicinal plants such as Aloe (aloe vera, aloe arborescens and others) together with some therapeutic herbs truly seem to come as close to a panacea as it gets.
This page is dedicated to some of the dental/oral health benefits of aloe (a known anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic and immune-booster) as evidenced by various scientific research studies and reported by several dentists. Aloe has not only been shown to fight cavity-causing bacteria, but good results with aloe application have also been reported for both gingivitis and periodontitis. Since the latter can be particularly difficult to rein in, including aloe in one's oral healing regimen would seem particularly recommended for people suffering from gum (periodontal) disease.
Observations reported by dentists regarding aloe vera application in dentistry
Note: Most if not all of the benefits reported in the following have also been confirmed by aloe research studies.
Dentist Dr James Harrison wrote an article on his personal and professional experiences with the application of whole-leaf Aloe vera in dentistry. Not only was he healed from multiple personal health issues (a previous attempt with a non-whole-leaf aloe product had yielded no results), but he also saw amazing results in the patients in his dental practice.
This included a first patient (undergoing wisdom tooth surgery) who had his socket irrigated with whole-leaf Aloe vera concentrate, and (after suturing) filled with a concentrated aloe gel. The patient was completely free of pain and discomfort and continued to apply the whole-leaf Aloe vera for a week. Upon removal of the sutures, the surgery area appeared to have healed over.
All subsequent surgeries where Aloe vera was used yielded the same results - the patients felt no pain and suffered no discomfort after the surgery, including one case where numerous teeth were removed and other surgical procedures performed in one long session. Pain medication became a thing of the past.
Holistic dentist Dr. Bill Wolfe reports on a number of studies done by professor Eugene Zimmermann of Baylor College of Dentistry (Dallas, Texas) which showed that Aloe vera gel was nontoxic and, used at at least a 70% concentration, worked against a broad range of micro-organisms (bacteria, viruses, and fungi), as well as extended cellular life.
(See inter alia the study "The effects of prednisolone, indomethacin, and Aloe vera gel on tissue culture cells" published in Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine and Oral Pathology in 1969 and the "Report on effect of aloe vera on growth of certain micro-organisms" from the same year co-authored by Sims and Zimmermann).
Successful studies on aloe's bactericidal action included research on the five strains of Streptococcus mutans most often found colonizing dental plaque. The aloe gel also killed Candida albicans (the cause of oral candidiasis).
Dentist Dr. Timothy E. Moore confirms both the above observation and study that with aloe vera application, extraction sites appear to heal problem-free and will not develop into "dry sockets". (By extension it could be reasonably speculated that aloe might prevent the formation of the dangerous cavitations so frequently developing after adult extractions.)
Additional benefits and areas of aloe application that promote healing according to Dr. Moore include
- post-treatment after gum surgery
- gum tissue damaged by sharp toothbrushes, abrasive toothpastes, toothpicks, certain foodstuffs (including too much sugar), flossing etc.
- used around dental implants, aloe helps to keep inflammation due to bacterial contamination under control
- aspirin burns
- various oral lesions including canker sores (aphthous ulcers) and cracks at the corners of the lips
- soreness in denture patients from ill-fitting dentures and partials
- dry mouth (xerostomia) caused by medications
- gum abscesses
- desquamative gingivitis
- chronic oral diseases such as benign pemphigus and Lichen planus
- AIDS and leukemia patients with gum problems
- inflamed tongue, geographic tongue
- burning mouth syndrome
- oral candidiasis
Which aloe to use
If you have your own aloe vera plant(s) you can take fresh gel from the leaf and apply it straight or mix it with water for mouth rinses. If you do use commercially available aloe products, make sure they contain a whole-leaf extract. The above-mentioned dentist Dr Wolfe has developed his own range of aloe-based dental products, see Herbal products for dental problems.
Some background on Aloe
1 See for instance Stinging nettle medicinal effects ff. and the research proving the outstanding benefits of cannabinoids found in the Cannabis plant (medical marijuana). Another non-herbal contender for panacea status may be DMSO [Dimethyl sulfoxide].
2 For perhaps the simplest and cheapest DIY remedy for this affliction, see Oil pulling with olive oil against oral candidiasis.
3 Healing Teeth Naturally cautions about dental implant surgery.
4 More causes and remedies at Dry mouth (xerostomia): On causes, remedies & treatments of inadequate natural production of saliva.
5 Compare Canker sores (aphthous ulcers or stomatitis): Possible causes, natural and home remedies.