The effect of Frankincense in the treatment of moderate plaque-induced gingivitis: a double blinded randomized clinical trial

Daru. 2011;19(4):288-94.


Background and the purpose of the study: Extract of Boswellia Serrata species has been used in the Indian traditional medicine in the treatment of various inflammatory diseases. The present study was designed to evaluate anti-inflammatory effects of Frankincense in the treatment of gingivitis, which is a periodontal tissue inflammatory disease.

Methods: This double blind randomized placebo controlled trial was carried out among high school female students with moderate plaque-induced gingivitis. Based on either administration of 0.1 gram of Frankincense extract or 0.2 gram of its powder or placebo and whether the patients undergone scaling and root planning (SRP) or not, they were randomly assigned to 6 groups. The primary efficacy outcome was changes in Gingival Index (Loe & Sillness) and the secondary outcomes were alteration in plaque index (Sillness & Loe), bleeding index (Cowell) and probing pocket depth (WHO probe). All indices were measured in the 0, 7th and 14th days of the study.

Results: Seventy five patients ranged of 15-18 years old were enrolled. At the end of the study, the indices in all groups showed significant decreases in comparison to the first day (p< 0.05), except for the bleeding index in the group without SRP and drug therapy (p=0.111). More precise analysis of data revealed that SRP in association with Frankincense application (either extract or powder) can lead to remarkable decrease in inflammatory indices in comparison to the groups without SRP and drug therapy (p<0.001). In addition, no significant difference was observed between powder or extract therapy (p >0.05) and between patients received either SRP or treatment alone (p=0.169).

Conclusion: Frankincense, a safe and low-cost herbal medicine, may be feasibly applied to improve inflammation based disease of gingival as an adjunct to the conventional mechanical therapy.

Keywords: Clinical trial; Dental plaque; Herbal medicine; Inflammation.