Herb extract could be used for natural anti-cavity oral care products

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

Galla Chinensis was revealed to inhibit the acid production of caries-associated bacteria. ©iStock
Galla Chinensis was revealed to inhibit the acid production of caries-associated bacteria. ©iStock
Active ingredients from the herb Galla Chinensis could be used to create to natural anti-cavity products, researchers have reported.

Investigators at the West China School of Stomatology tested hundreds of Chinese herbs and identified that Galla Chinensis​ has strong potential to prevent dental cavities due to its antibacterial capacity and tooth mineralisation benefits.

Galla Chinensis​ also possesses substantial antiviral, anticancer, hepato-protective, anti-diarrhoea and antioxidant activities, according to findings published in The Open Dentistry Journal​.

To maintain a healthy mouth, the oral environment must be relatively neutral. When the environment in the mouth becomes more acidic, dental cavities or other disorders may develop.

Galla Chinensis​ was revealed to inhibit the acid production of caries-associated bacteria, as well as to make teeth more resistant to acidic attack.

In the present study, several Galla Chinensis​ extracts with different main ingredients were obtained and determined by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) analysis.

Total phenolics

Its antibacterial capacity was determined using the polymicrobial biofilms model, which can generate reproducible plaque-like biofilms that occur in vivo​.

The effect of inhibiting tooth demineralisation was tested using an in vitro​ pH-cycling regime, which mimicked the periodic pH change in the mouth.

The paper stated: "The composition of water extract (GCE), ethanol extract (eGCE) and commercial tannic acid was compared."

All the GCE, eGCE and tannic acid contained a high level of total phenolics, but eGCE and tannic acid showed a better effect on inhibiting enamel demineralisation, acid formation and biofilm formation.

"Galla chinensis extracts with higher tannin content were suggested to have higher potential to prevent dental caries,"​ the study concluded.

Significant reductions in the prevalence and incidence of cavities have been made by the introduction of fluoride, but it is not a total cure and there is still a need to use products complementary to fluoride.

Based on these new findings, the research team is working with the industry to develop new oral care products.

Source: The Open Dentistry Journal


"Comparison of Composition and Anticaries Effect of Galla Chinensis Extracts with Different Isolation Methods”

Authors: Xuelian Huang, et al.

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