Turmeric: The Future Mouthwash?

Mouthwash can be a beneficial solution for your oral health problems. However, did you know that turmeric, a yellow spice that is extracted from the root of the Curcuma longa plant that is a key ingredient in curry, also has good effects and can even be safer than the typical chemical mouthwash? Turmeric has been used since ancient times for health benefits and to treat oral diseases, including removing plaque from the mouth and killing oral cancer cells.

Turmeric has around three to four percent curcumin, which is a yellow polyphenol that is a natural alternative for chlorhexidine. Chlorhexidine is a common ingredient in mouthwash that treats gingivitis, or gum inflammation. Some of the typical symptoms of gingivitis include halitosis (bad breath) and bleeding or swollen gums. If not treated properly, gingivitis can develop into an extremely harmful form of periodontal disease. Although chlorhexidine is effective at preventing dental plaque, there have been issues in patient safety. In 2012, the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) stated that chlrohexidine can provoke anaphylactic reactions, which are severe and life-threatening allergic reactions. Although these reactions are rare, if safer alternatives are more effective, they should be used instead.

A study published in the Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology in 2012 compared the effects of turmeric mouthwash (0.1% curcumin extract mouthwash and 0.01% eugenol) and chlorhexidine (0.2% chlorhexidine gluconate mouthwash) on subjects who had mild to moderate gingivitis. The results proved that the turmeric mouthwash was more effective than the chlorhexidine mouthwash in improving the oral health (in terms of the percentage reduction of the plaque index, gingival index, and bacterial activity) of the subjects. Furthermore, it was more effective at a concentration that was half of that of chlorhexidine. Further research has demonstrated that curcumin is an ideal alternative for chlorhexidine in plaque reduction and reduction in plaque-associated gum inflammation.

In addition, if one were to consume some of the curcumin-based mouthwash by accident, the consequences would not be as adverse as those that would result in swallowing chlorhexidine. Because of all the health benefits of turmeric, it may actually be beneficial. However, if you consider switching to turmeric mouthwash, make sure to consider the quality of the herb. Check whether it was produced organically and preserved in a way that eliminated mycotoxins and other microbial contaminants.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or to set up an appointment and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.



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