Aloe vera's healing power extends to teeth, gums

Similar to its use on skin, the aloe vera in tooth gels is used to cleanse and soothe teeth and gums, and is as effective as toothpaste to fight cavities, according to a study.
Aloe vera tooth gel is intended to perform the same function as toothpaste, which is to eliminate disease-causing bacteria in the mouth.
The ability of aloe vera tooth gel to successfully perform that function has been a point of contention among dental professionals.
The new study compared the germ-fighting ability of an aloe vera tooth gel to two commercially popular toothpastes and revealed that the aloe vera tooth gel was just as effective, and in some cases more effective, than the commercial brands at controlling cavity-causing organisms.
But, because aloe vera tooth gel tends to be less harsh on teeth, as it does not contain the abrasive elements typically found in commercial toothpaste, it is a great alternative for people with sensitive teeth or gums.
But buyers must beware. Not all aloe vera tooth gel contains the proper form of aloe vera. Products must contain the stabilised gel that is located in the centre of the aloe vera plant in order to be effective. Products must also adhere to certain manufacturing standards.
Co-author of the study, D. George of Stanford University, explains that aloe vera "must not be treated with excessive heat or filtered during the manufacturing process, as this destroys or reduces the effects of certain essential compounds, such as enzymes and polysaccharides".
Although there are more than 300 species of the plant, only a few have been used for medicinal purposes, said a Standford release.
These findings were published in the the May-June issue of General Dentistry.

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