Use of ethanol extracts of Terminalia chebula to prevent periodontal disease induced by dental plaque bacteria

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017 Feb 16;17(1):113. doi: 10.1186/s12906-017-1619-1.


Background: The fruit of the Terminalia chebula tree has been widely used for the treatment of various disorders. Its anti-diabetic, anti-mutagenic, anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral effects have been studied. Dental plaque bacteria (DPB) are intimately associated with gingivitis and periodontitis. In the quest for materials that will prove useful in the treatment and prevention of periodontal disease, we investigated the preventive effects of an ethanol extract of Terminalia chebula (EETC) on DPB-induced inflammation and bone resorption.

Methods: The anti-bacterial effect of EETC was analyzed using the disc diffusion method. The anti-inflammatory effect of EETC was determined by molecular biological analysis of the DPB-mediated culture cells. Prevention of osteoclastic bone resorption by EETC was explored using osteoclast formation and pit formation assays.

Results: EETC suppressed the growth of oral bacteria and reduced the induction of inflammatory cytokines and proteases, abolishing the expression of PGE2 and COX-2 and inhibiting matrix damage. By stimulating the DPB-derived lipopolysaccharides, EETC inhibited both osteoclast formation in osteoclast precursors and RANKL expression in osteoblasts, thereby contributing to the prevention of bone resorption.

Conclusions: EETC may be a beneficial supplement to help prevent DPB-mediated periodontal disease.

Keywords: Dental plaque bacteria (DPB); Ethanol extract of Terminalia chebula (EETC); Gingivitis; Inflammation; Lipopolysaccharide (LPS); Osteoclast; Periodontitis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Bacteria / growth & development
  • Bone Resorption / microbiology
  • Bone Resorption / prevention & control
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 / metabolism
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Dental Plaque / microbiology*
  • Dinoprostone / metabolism
  • Gingivitis / microbiology
  • Gingivitis / prevention & control
  • Inflammation / microbiology
  • Inflammation / prevention & control
  • Mice
  • Mouth / microbiology
  • Osteoblasts / drug effects
  • Osteoclasts / drug effects
  • Peptide Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Periodontal Diseases* / microbiology
  • Periodontal Diseases* / pathology
  • Periodontal Diseases* / prevention & control
  • Periodontitis / microbiology
  • Periodontitis / prevention & control
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • RANK Ligand / metabolism
  • RAW 264.7 Cells
  • Terminalia*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Cytokines
  • Plant Extracts
  • RANK Ligand
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Peptide Hydrolases
  • Dinoprostone