PURPOSE: To evaluate the effect of two herbal mouthwashes containing aloe vera and tea tree oil, on the oral health of school children.
METHODS: A double-blinded, placebo-controlled prospective interventional study was conducted in school children aged 8-14 years. The study participants were divided into four groups depending upon the mouthwash used: Group 1 (aloe vera), Group 2 (chlorhexidine), Group 3 (tea tree oil) and Group 4 (placebo). The variables studied included plaque index, gingival index and salivary Streptococcus mutans counts, which were recorded at baseline, 4 weeks after supervised mouth rinse and after 2 weeks of stopping the mouth rinse.
RESULTS: A total of 89 boys and 63 girls were included. A statistically significant decrease in all variables was noted after the use of both the herbal preparations at the end of 4 weeks which was maintained after the 2-week washout period (p < 0.001). The difference in variables between groups using aloe vera, Tea tree oil and chlorhexidine, was not statistically significant.
CONCLUSION: The use of aloe vera and tea tree oil mouthwashes can decrease plaque, gingivitis and S. mutans in the oral cavity in children. The activity of these two agents is comparable to that of chlorhexidine.
Kamath NP, et al. The effect of aloe vera and tea tree oil mouthwashes on the oral health of school children. Eur Arch Paediatr Dent. 2020 Feb;21(1):61-66. doi: 10.1007/s40368-019-00445-5. Epub 2019 May 20.