Anti-Bacterial and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Toothpaste with Swiss Medicinal Herbs towards Patients Suffering from Gingivitis and Initial Stage of Periodontitis: from Clinical Efficacy to Mechanisms

Dent J (Basel). 2020 Jan 15;8(1):10. doi: 10.3390/dj8010010.


Objective: To distinguish clinical effects and mechanisms of sodium monofluorophosphate plus xylitol and herbal extracts of Swiss medicinal plants (Chamomilla recutita, Arnica montana, Echinacea purpurea, and Salvia officinalis).

Materials and methods: A 2-month-long comparative clinical study of toothpaste containing 1450 ppm sodium monofluorophosphate and xylitol (control, 15 patients) and toothpaste additionally containing extracts of the medicinal herbs (experiment, 35 patients) was performed on patients with gingivitis and the initial stage of periodontitis. Clinical indices of gingivitis/periodontitis were quantified by Loe & Silness's, CPITN, OHI-S, and PMA indexes. The pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory interleukins, nitrites/nitrates, total antioxidant activity, and bacterial pattern characteristic for gingivitis and periodontitis were quantified in the gingival crevicular fluid and plaque. In the in vitro tests, direct anti-bacterial effects, inhibition of catalase induction in Staphylococcus aureus, in response to oxidative burst of phagocytes, and intracellular bacterial killing were determined for the toothpastes, individual plant extracts, and their mixture.

Results: Experimental toothpaste was more efficient clinically and in the diminishing of bacterial load specific for gingivitis/periodontitis. Although the control toothpaste exerted a direct moderate anti-bacterial effect, herbal extracts provided anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, direct, and indirect anti-bacterial actions through inhibition of bacterial defence against phagocytes.

Conclusions: Chemical and plant-derived anti-bacterials to treat gingivitis and periodontitis at the initial stage should be used in combination amid their different mechanisms of action. Plant-derived actives for oral care could substitute toxic chemicals due to multiple modes of positive effects.

Keywords: anti-bacterial effects; anti-inflammatory effects; bacerial catalase; gingival crevicular fluid; gingivitis; herbal extracts; interleukins; nitric oxide; periodontitis; total antioxidant activity.