Phytotherapy in Dentistry: A Literature Review Based on Clinical Data

Main Article Content

Thaylla Núñez Amin Dick
Letícia Côgo Marques
Amanda de Almeida Lima Lopes
Monique Santana Candreva
Lílian Rocha Santos
Bruna Lavinas Sayed Picciani


Aims: Looking for scientific support with an updated review about herbal medicines usage in dentistry for clinical application, reinforcing the potential of phytotherapics to treat oral disorders and the need for new studies on the topic.

Material and Methods: The literature search was performed combining “phytotherapy” and “dentistry” in the PubMed, MEDLINE, BBO, LILACS and SciELO databases, covering the period from January 2017 to March 2020. The data extracted were: Alteration/oral disease, gender, age, number of participants, herbal medicine used, drug function and results.

Results: were selected 24 papers that employed different plants, such as Tulsi, Aloe vera, citronella, turmeric, propolis and cloves. The results found are promising and show the anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antibacterial, antioxidant, antifungal, antiviral and tranquilizer action of herbal drugs, and their use for treating burning mouth syndrome, oral submucous fibrosis, xerostomia and halitosis.

Conclusion: despite the therapeutic activities of herbal medicines, additional studies with larger sample size and scientific rigor are necessary to prove their benefits for treating oral diseases.

Phytotherapy, dentistry, oral manifestations, medicinal plants.

Article Details

How to Cite
Dick, T. N. A., Marques, L. C., Lopes, A. de A. L., Candreva, M. S., Santos, L. R., & Picciani, B. L. S. (2020). Phytotherapy in Dentistry: A Literature Review Based on Clinical Data. European Journal of Medicinal Plants, 31(10), 1-13.
Minireview Article


de Araújo JSC, de Castilho ARF, Lira AB, Pereira AV, de Azevêdo TKB, de Brito Costa EM de M, et al. Antibacterial activity against cariogenic bacteria and cytotoxic and genotoxic potential of Anacardium occidentale L. and Anadenanthera macrocarpa (Benth.) Brenan extracts. Arch Oral Biol. 2018;85:113–9.

Brasil, Ministério da Saúde. Revista Fitos: pesquisa, desenvolvimento e inovação em fitoterápicos. 4th Ed. Rio de Janeiro: Fundação Oswaldo Cruz; 2015.

Kleryson FMS. Fitoterapia: uma opção para o tratamento odontológico. Revista Saúde - UNG-Ser. 2009;4:18–24.

Salehi B, Lopez-Jornet P, Pons-Fuster López E, Calina D, Sharifi-Rad M, Ramírez-Alarcón K, et al. Plant-Derived Bioactives in Oral Mucosal Lesions: A Key Emphasis to Curcumin, Lycopene, Chamomile, Aloe vera, Green Tea and Coffee Properties. Biomolecules. 2019;9.

Morales-Bozo I, Ortega-Pinto A, Rojas Alcayaga G, Aitken Saavedra JP, Salinas Flores O, Lefimil Puente C, et al. Evaluation of the effectiveness of a chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) and linseed (Linum usitatissimum) saliva substitute in the relief of xerostomia in elders. Gerodontology. 2017;34:42–8.

Milani AMC, Macedo CLR, Bello MDC, Klein-Júnior CA, Dos Santos RB. A successful approach to conrol burning mouth syndrome using matricaria recutita and cognitive therapy. J Clin Exp Dent. 2018;10:e499–501.

Albabtain R, Ibrahim L, Bhangra S, Rosengren A, Gustafsson A. Chemical effects of chewing sticks made of Salvadora persica. Int J Dent Hyg. 2018; 16:535–40.

Dar-Odeh NS, Gasim RA, Binsaad SM, Abu-Hammad S, Abu-Hammad OA. Use of natural remedies to treat oral diseases among female patients in Al Madinah, western Saudi Arabia. J Complement Integr Med. 2019;16.

de Souza IF, Mármora BC, Rados PV, Visioli F. Treatment modalities for burning mouth syndrome: A systematic review. Clin Oral Invest. 2018;22:1893–905.

Resende KKM, Faria GP, Longo DL, Martins LJO, Costa CRR. In vitro evaluation of plants as storage media for avulsed teeth: A systematic review. Dent Traumatol. 2020;36:3–18.

Santi SS, Casarin M, Grellmann AP, Chambrone L, Zanatta FB. Effect of herbal mouthrinses on dental plaque formation and gingival inflammation: A systematic review. Oral Dis; 2019.

Moro MG, Silveira Souto ML, Franco GCN, Holzhausen M, Pannuti CM. Efficacy of local phytotherapy in the nonsurgical treatment of periodontal disease: A systematic review. J Periodont Res. 2018; 53:288–97.

Al-Maweri SA, Ashraf S, Lingam AS, Alqutaibi A, Abdulrab S, Alaizari N, et al. Aloe vera in treatment of oral submucous fibrosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Oral Pathol Med. 2019;48:99–107.

Aumeeruddy MZ, Zengin G, Mahomoodally MF. A review of the traditional and modern uses of Salvadora persica L. (Miswak): Toothbrush tree of Prophet Muhammad. J Ethnopharmacol. 2018;213:409–44.

Dantas L-P, de Oliveira-Ribeiro A, de Almeida-Souza L-M, Groppo F-C. Effects of Passiflora incarnata and midazolam for control of anxiety in patients undergoing dental extraction. Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 2017;22:e95–101.

Patri G, Sahu A. Role of herbal agents - tea tree oil and Aloe vera as Cavity disinfectant adjuncts in minimally invasive dentistry-An in vivo Comparative Study. J Clin Diagn Res. 2017;11:DC05–9.

Wiatrak K, Morawiec T, Rój R, Mertas A, Machorowska-Pieniążek A, Kownacki P, et al. Oral Health of patients treated with acrylic partial dentures using a toothpaste containing bee product. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med; 2017.


[Cited 2020 Jun 8]

Purohit RN, Bhatt M, Purohit K, Acharya J, Kumar R, Garg R. Clinical and radiological evaluation of turmeric powder as a pulpotomy medicament in primary teeth: An in vivo study. Int J Clin Pediatr Dent. 2017;10:37–40.

Lolayekar NV, Kadkhodayan SS. Estimation of salivary pH and viability of Streptococcus mutans on chewing of Tulsi leaves in children. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent. 2019;37:87–91.

Ferreira-Filho JCC, Marre AT de O, de Sá Almeida JS, Lobo L de A, Farah A, Romanos MTV, et al. Therapeutic Potential of Bauhinia forficata Link in Dental Biofilm Treatment. J Med Food; 2020.

Isola G, Matarese M, Ramaglia L, Iorio-Siciliano V, Cordasco G, Matarese G. Efficacy of a drug composed of herbal extracts on postoperative discomfort after surgical removal of impacted mandibular third molar: A randomized, triple-blind, controlled clinical trial. Clin Oral Investig. 2019;23:2443–53.

Lee J, Nho YH, Yun SK, Hwang YS. Use of ethanol extracts of Terminalia chebula to prevent periodontal disease induced by dental plaque bacteria. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017;17.


[Cited 2020 Jun 8]

Silva JPB, Peres ARMN, Paixão TP, Silva ASB, Baetas AC, Barbosa WLR, et al. Antifungal activity of hydroalcoholic extract of Chrysobalanus icaco against oral clinical isolates of Candida Species. Pharmacognosy Research. 2017; 9:96.

Tonea A, Badea M, Oana L, Sava S, Vodnar D. Antibacterial and antifungal activity of endodontic intracanal medications. Clujul Med. 2017;90:344–7.

Veloso DJ, Abrão F, Martins CHG, Bronzato JD, Gomes BPFA, Higino JS, et al. Potential antibacterial and anti-halitosis activity of medicinal plants against oral bacteria. Arch Oral Biol. 2020;110:104585.

Guandalini Cunha B, Duque C, Sampaio Caiaffa K, Massunari L, Araguê Catanoze I, Dos Santos DM, et al. Cytotoxicity and antimicrobial effects of citronella oil (Cymbopogon nardus) and commercial mouthwashes on S. aureus and C. albicans biofilms in prosthetic materials. Arch Oral Biol. 2020;109:104577.

da Silva KR, Damasceno JL, Inácio M de O, Abrão F, Ferreira NH, Tavares DC, et al. Antibacterial and Cytotoxic Activities of Pinus tropicalis and Pinus elliottii resins and of the diterpene dehydroabietic acid against bacteria that cause dental caries. Front Microbiol. 2019;10.


[Cited 2020 Jun 8]

Teodoro GR, Gontijo AVL, Salvador MJ, Tanaka MH, Brighenti FL, Delbem ACB, et al. Effects of acetone fraction from Buchenavia tomentosa Aqueous extract and gallic acid on Candida albicans biofilms and virulence factors. Front Microbiol. 2018;9:647.

Bhat G, Kudva P, Dodwad V. Aloe vera: Nature’s soothing healer to periodontal disease. Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology. 2011;15:205.

Clark DT, Gazi MI, Cox SW, Eley BM, Tinsley GF. The effects of Acacia arabica gum on the in vitro growth and protease activities of periodontopathic bacteria. Journal of Clinical Periodontology. 1993; 20:238–43.

Gami B, Pathak S, Parabia M. Ethnobotanical, phytochemical and pharmacological review of Mimusops elengi Linn. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine. 2012;2:743–8.

Yaghini J, Shahabooei M, Aslani A, Zadeh MR, Kiani S, Naghsh N. Efficacy of a local-drug delivery gel containing extracts of Quercus brantii and Coriandrum sativum as an adjunct to scaling and root planing in moderate chronic periodontitis patients. J Res Pharm Pract. 2014;3:67–71.

Pappas PG, Rex JH, Lee J, Hamill RJ, Larsen RA, Powderly W, et al. A prospective observational study of candidemia: Epidemiology, therapy, and influences on mortality in hospitalized adult and pediatric patients. Clin Infect Dis. 2003;37:634–43.

Abreu AC, Serra SC, Borges A, Saavedra MJ, Salgado AJ, Simões M. Evaluation of the best method to assess antibiotic potentiation by phytochemicals against Staphylococcus aureus. Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2014;79:125–34.

Brighenti FL, Salvador MJ, Gontijo AVL, Delbem ACB, Delbem ÁCB, Soares CP, et al. Plant extracts: Initial screening, identification of bioactive compounds and effect against Candida albicans biofilms. Future Microbiol. 2017;12:15–27.

Teodoro GR, Brighenti FL, Delbem ACB, Delbem ÁCB, Khouri S, Gontijo AVL, et al. Antifungal activity of extracts and isolated compounds from Buchenavia tomentosa on Candida albicans and non-albicans. Future Microbiol. 2015;10:917–27.

Vaghela JH, Shah JH, Patel JH, Purohit BM. Comparison of safety and analgesic efficacy of diclofenac sodium with etodolac after surgical extraction of third molars: A randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, parallel-group study. J Dent Anesth Pain Med. 2020;20:19–27.

Piecuch JF. What strategies are helpful in the operative management of third molars? J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2012;70: S25-32.

Li HY, Hu J, Zhao S, Yuan Z-Y, Wan HJ, Lei F, et al. Comparative study of the effect of baicalin and its natural analogs on neurons with oxygen and glucose deprivation involving innate immune reaction of TLR2/TNFα. J Biomed Biotechnol. 2012;2012:267890.

Moghaddam E, Teoh B-T, Sam S-S, Lani R, Hassandarvish P, Chik Z, et al. Baicalin, a metabolite of baicalein with antiviral activity against dengue virus. Scientific Reports. 2014;4:5452.

Chen J, Li Z, Chen AY, Ye X, Luo H, Rankin GO, et al. Inhibitory effect of baicalin and baicalein on ovarian cancer cells. Int J Mol Sci. 2013;14:6012–25.

Lee W, Ku SK, Bae JS. Anti-inflammatory effects of baicalin, baicalein, and wogonin in vitro and in vivo. Inflammation. 2015;38: 110–25.

Chi YS, Lim H, Park H, Kim HP. Effects of wogonin, a plant flavone from Scutellaria radix, on skin inflammation: In vivo regulation of inflammation-associated gene expression. Biochem Pharmacol. 2003;66: 1271–8.