Aloe vera gets thumbs up as natural oral care ingredient

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Aloe vera, Hygiene, Us

US dental researchers say work they have been conducting into aloe vera suggests that it is an excellent ingredient as a tooth and gum cleaner.

Commonly used in hair care and skin care applications, the findings have been published in the May/June edition of the General Dentistry, The Academy of General Dentistry’s peer-reviewed journal.

Also used to soothe skin rashes and burns, the study looked closely at aloe vera gel’s use as an active ingredient in gels to cleanse and soothe gums, as well as its use in toothpaste to help fight cavities.

Aloe vera set for a big place in oral care

Market researcher Mintel already highlighted earlier this year that natural oral care formulation, and in particular the use of aloe vera, has become a key trend in the personal care industry.

But despite its growing popularity some dentists have contended that aloe vera can be used to eliminate the pathogenic oral microflora that causes bacteria, concerns that the researchers beleive they can no dispell.

They claim that in the course of their study they compared the germ-fighting capabilities of aloe vera tooth gel to that of commercial brands.

Aloe vera gel effective as controlling oral bacteria

The results found that the aloe vera gel invariably equaled the performance of the commercial brands and in some instances actually proved to be more effective at controlling cavity-causing organisms.

The research also highlights the fact that aloe vera tooth gel tends to be less harsh on the teeth than commercial toothpaste because it does not contain such abrasive elements found in other compounds of the same nature

However, the article also highlighted the fact that certain formulations might not contain the correct form of aloe vera, which should always be the stabilized gel located in the centre of the plant, for it to be assured of its efficacy.

Efficacy depends on correct extraction

Dilip George, MDS and co-author of the study say that the aloe “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 or polysaccharides".

The US natural and organic oral care market is already by far the most developed and sophisticated in the world, and it seems that consumer interest in the segment is continuing to grow at a breakneck pace.

The market was valued at $160m in 2008, and according to market researchers Organic Monitor, it is predicted to grow annually at 20 – 25 percent in the next few years.

This growth is largely attributable to increasing distribution in mass market outlets, combined with the ever-increasing consumer interest in natural- and organic-based personal care products.

Related topics: Formulation & Science

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