Combating dental caries with medicinal plants

In a study, researchers from the Bharat Institute of Technology in India explored how different medicinal plants can prevent dental caries. Their findings were published in BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies.

  • The team looked at the anti-carries effect of different medicinal plants. In particular, the team explored this effect at the molecular level and against Streptococcus mutans glucosyltransferases (gtf).
  • The following plants were used for the study: Terminalia chebula, Psidium guajava, Azadirachta indica and Pongamia pinnata. In addition, two essential oils – Syzygium aromaticum and Mentha piperita – were selected as test samples.
  • From the plants, the team prepared hydroalcoholic extracts. The extracts and the essential oils were examined for their ability to inhibit gtf isolated from S. mutans.
  • In addition, they also prepared a mouthwash using the plants, which they also tested against gtf against commercial chlorhexidine mouthwash. To determine the molecular mechanism of action, they carried out an enzyme kinetic study.
  • The results revealed that A. indica had the highest maximum inhibitory effect (91.647 percent) on gtf; T. chebula had an IC50 of 1.091 mg/mL.
  • T. chebula, P. guajava and P. pinnata exhibited uncompetitive inhibition, while A. indica showed non-competitive inhibition, based on the results of the enzyme kinetic study.
  • The polyherbal mouthwash showed significant inhibitory potential on gtf (95.936%) compared to commercial chlorhexidine mouthwash.

In sum, all medicinal plants used in the study exhibited gtf action, and the polyherbal mouth wash exhibited noncompetitive inhibitory activity against gtf.

Learn more about other natural treatments for dental caries at

Journal Reference:

Mandava K, Batchu UR, Kakulavaram S, Repally S, Chennuri I, Bedarakota S, Sunkara N. DESIGN AND STUDY OF ANTICARIES EFFECT OF DIFFERENT MEDICINAL PLANTS AGAINST S.MUTANS GLUCOSYLTRANSFERASE. BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies. 2019 Aug 2. DOI: 10.1186/s12906-019-2608-3