This clinical study assessed and compared the efficacy of tea tree oil (TTO), an alternative form of medicine, with clotrimazole (i.e., allopathy) and a conservative form of management in the treatment of oral fungal infection. In this interventional, observational, and comparative study, we enrolled 36 medically fit individuals of both sexes who were aged 20-60 years old. The participants were randomly assigned to three groups. Group I was given TTO (0.25% rinse) as medicament, Group II was given clotrimazole, and Group III was managed with conservative treatment. The results were analyzed from the clinical evaluation of lesions, changes in four most common clinical parameters of lesions, and subjective symptoms on periodic follow-up. Based on the results, the percentage efficiency of the two groups were taken and compared through a bar graph on the scale of 1. No toxicity to TTO was reported. Group I (TTO) was found to be more efficient than the other two groups, as changes in four parameter indices of lesions were noted, and results for all three groups were compared on a percentage basis. The study concluded that TTO, being a natural product, is a better nontoxic modality compared to clotrimazole, in the treatment of oral fungal infection and has a promising future for its potential application in oral health products.
Keywords: candidiasis; clotrimazole; conservative management; fungal infection; tea tree oil.