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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 23-26

Aloe vera as denture cleanser

Departments of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Sinhgad Dental College and Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication11-Jun-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Bindiya Narang
Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Sinhgad Dental College and Hospital, Vadgaon (Bk), Off Sinhgad Road, Pune - 411 014, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jdas.jdas_44_17

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Aloe vera has shown multiple uses in dentistry. Aloe vera has been long time used for its many beneficial properties. It is still in use for wide range of ailments. It promotes rapid wound healing and pain relief. It has antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiaging, anticancer, immune modulating, and moisturizing effects. This article is about the different properties of Aloe vera, with special emphasis on its denture cleansing property.

Keywords: Aloe vera, antimicrobial, denture cleanser

How to cite this article:
Isadkar YS, Palaskar SJ, Narang B, Bartake AR. Aloe vera as denture cleanser. J Dent Allied Sci 2018;7:23-6

How to cite this URL:
Isadkar YS, Palaskar SJ, Narang B, Bartake AR. Aloe vera as denture cleanser. J Dent Allied Sci [serial online] 2018 [cited 2022 Jan 24];7:23-6. Available from: https://www.jdas.in/text.asp?2018/7/1/23/234190

  Introduction Top

In India, the elderly population is continuously increasing and also the problems faced by these people are increasing simultaneously. Older age can bring a variety of the dental problems. The geriatric population constitutes the major portion of the rural population and about 73% of the elderly resides in rural India, and among them, 75% are economically dependent.[1]

Oral hygiene is an important aspect in maintaining the well-being of an individual since ages. There is a lack of awareness regarding the maintenance of oral hygiene and management in elderly individuals. Rehabilitating edentulous patients with complete denture has been the treatment of choice. Denture-related stomatitis or Candida-associated denture-induced stomatitis is common condition seen in geriatric patients, where mild inflammation and redness of the oral mucosa occurs beneath a denture. This condition is usually attributed to lack of maintaining the oral hygiene and the cleanliness of dentures.

Denture-related stomatitis is more likely to develop when the denture is left constantly in the mouth rather than removing it even during sleep and when the denture is not cleaned regularly. Hence, to avoid this problem, there is a need of the denture cleansers. As there are toothpastes for cleaning of the teeth, there are denture cleansers to keep the dentures clean. In the denture wearers, the prevalence of candida has been observed to be around 60%–100%. There are two types of denture cleansers available, chemical denture cleansers and natural denture cleansers. Chemical denture cleansers may have side effects. Among the natural denture cleanser, Aloe vera is effective, easily available, and economical.

Aloe vera is the oldest medicinal plant ever known. It is known as lily of the desert. Aloe vera plant belongs to the liliaceae family.[1] The name aloe derives from the Arabic word “Alloeh” meaning “shining bitter substance.” while “vera” in Latin means true.[2]Aloe vera gel has significant antimicrobial property.[3] This property makes it suitable to use it as a denture cleansing agent.

  History Top

Aloe vera has a very long history of medicinal usage. It was prescribed as “the plant of immortality'' by many native people.[4] In Ayurveda, it is known as kumara or young girl because it brings back youthful energy and feminine. It is used as a tonic for female reproductive system.[5] It is an old natural remedy that is definitely superior to many synthetic drugs, and it could be called as a “A Modern miracle plant.”[6]Aloe vera survives for more than 7 years without water.[7] It is a succulent plant. Succulent is xerophytes which are adapted to living in areas of low water availability and are characterized by possessing a large water storage tissue.

In the 2200 BC, Aloe vera was mentioned as summer ion clay tablets, and in 1500 BC, the Arabs Papyrus stated 12 recipes for mixing aloe with other agents to treat human disorders. Usually, whole leaf was ground and mixed with another plant. According to Egyptian books, it is used for the skin infections, and according to Greek physician, Aloe vera is used for the wound healing and hair loss problems. In 1200 CE, Aloe vera was used for the treatment of eczema.

It has been used for the medicinal purpose in several countries such as Egypt, India, Mexico, Japan, and China.[8] There are 400 species of Aloe vera plant in the lily family, but the aloe barbadensis species has the best pharmacological properties. Aloe vera is used for the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis, thermal burns, sunburn, cystic acne, peptic ulcers, laceration, amputation, stump ulcers, colds, tuberculosis, gonorrhea, asthma, dysentery, and headache [Figure 1] and [Figure 2].[9]
Figure 1: Aloe vera plant

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Figure 2: Aloe vera known as lily plant

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  Chemical Composition of Aloe Vera Top

Aloe vera plant has high water content ranging from 99% to 99.5%. The composition of Aloe vera contains 75 active ingredients – vitamins, enzymes, minerals, sugars, linin, saponin, salicylic acid, and amino acids (4–6).[10] Some of them are listed in [Table 1].
Table 1: Constituents and properties of Aloe vera

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  Discussion Top

Studies have demonstrated that Aloe vera has important therapeutic uses in the management of oral lesions such as oral lichen planus, oral submucous fibrosis, radiation-induced burning mouth syndrome, xerostomia, and recurrent aphthous ulcers.[9],[11]

Antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal effect of Aloe vera

Aloe vera has antimicrobial effect against resistant microorganisms found in pulp space.[12] The antiseptic agent present in it such as lupeol, salicylic acid, urea nitrogen, cinnamic acid, phenols and sulphur has inhibitory action on the fungi, bacteria, and viruses.[13] The microorganisms mainly Streptococcus pyogenes and Streptococcus faecalis are inhibited by the Aloe vera gel.[9]

In 1995, Heggers suggested that antimicrobial effects of Aloe vera gelin vivo could enhance the wound healing process by eliminating the bacteria that contribute to inflammation.[13]Aloe vera gel is effective against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. It inhibits the growth of the Candida albicans. According to research by Thomson, Aloe vera was found to be effective against the herpes simplex virus type 1 and 2 varicella-zoster virus, pseudorabies virus, influenza virus, etc.[14]

Antioxidant effect

According to recent reports, Aloe vera has antioxidant effect. According to Sanghi et al., activity of Aloe vera is similar to alpha-tocopherol.[10] It contains three aloesin derivatives such as isorabaichromone, feruoylalosin, and pcoumaroylaloes which showed potent-free radical and superoxide anion-scavenging activities in an assay using the lipid peroxidation.

Anti-inflammatory effects

According to Hanley et al. Aloe vera extract (described a 5% homogenate) decreased inflammation by 48% in a rat adjuvant-induced arthritic inflammatory model.[13] In cyclooxygenase pathway, it reduces production of prostaglandin E2 from arachidonic acid.[14] C-glycosyl and peptidase bradykinase are anti-inflammatory compounds, isolated from the gel extract.[15]

Choonhakarn et al. reported efficacy of Aloe vera in the treatment of oral lichen planus which is a chronic inflammatory disease. Aloe vera consists of enzymes such as, carboxypeptidase and brady kinase, both of which have been shown to relieve pain and decrease inflammation in denture stomatitis and swelling.[15]

In human, Aloe vera accelerates the healing from deep scars, flash burn of conjunctiva, and even cancer sores.[12] According to a study, it promotes the tensile strength in the incision wound model but do not modify the granulation tissue.[5] The herbs present in the Aloe vera also promote epithelization and wound contraction in cases of excision wound models.[16] Burn healing is the special type of the wound healing caused by application of Aloe vera gel. According to Liu et al., the rate of re-epithelization and healing of partial thickness burns was significantly faster when treated with Aloe vera than silver sulfadiazine.[17] It penetrates the tissue, relieves pain, reduces inflammation in denture stomatitis, and increases the synthesis of thromboxane A2.[18] Hence, this property of Aloe vera is beneficial in denture cleansing.

Antiaging and moisturizing effects

Aloe vera has excellent antiaging effects too. It produces collagen, elastin fibers making the skin more elastic and less wrinkled.[19]Aloe vera contains oligo elements such as manganese and selenium which constitutes the enzymes superoxidase dissimulate and glutathione peroxidase recognized as powerful antioxidant properties which slow down the aging process.[20]Aloe vera stimulates blood circulation that results in better oxygenation to tissue and faster expulsion of toxins. Due to antiaging property of Aloe vera, skin becomes smoother, hydrated, and more elastic.[20] Moisturizing effects appear due to water and polysaccharides components creating a jelly-like consistency which holds the water within the mix and minimizes its evaporation when applied to drying tissues and humectants properties which retains moisture in the tissue.[15]

Anticancer effects

The glycol proteins present in Aloe vera have antitumor effects.[10] In Japan, a large epidemiologic study was carried out on lung cancer and smoking. According to that study, Aloe vera juice prevents pulmonary carcinogenesis and stomach and colon cancer.[21]

Immunomodulating effects

Aloe vera is a great immune stimulant, and it also contains 90% rhodium and iridium (trace minerals), which is one of the polysaccharides which significantly increases the white blood corpuscles or macrophages and T-cells. The immunomodulation effects occur through activation of macrophage cells to generate nitric oxide, cytokines (e.g., tumor necrosis factor, interleukin-1, interleukin-6, and interferon) and presenting them to cell surface markers.[4]

Laxative effect

Anthraquinones present in Aloe vera increases intestine water content and stimulate water secretion, thus increases intestinal peristalsis.[4]

  Aloe Vera As Denture Cleanser Top

Care of dentures and the mucosal tissue of the edentulous mouth is important for overall health of an individual. Lack of denture hygiene is one of the main etiological factors causing the inflammation of oral mucosa of the edentulous patients. Denture hygiene is directly related to the frequency of denture cleansing. Elderly denture wearers are prone to suffer from one or more oral mucosal lesions such as denture stomatitis, burning mouth syndrome, angular cheilitis, candidal secondary infection, and many other mucosal lesions. Regular cleaning of dentures is important part of oral hygiene for denture wearers.[22] The requirement of ideal denture cleansers is that it should have antibiofilm activity, exhibit bactericidal and fungicidal effects, should be nontoxic, compatible with denture materials, short acting, easy to use, and should have an acceptable taste and be cost-effective with minimal side effects.

Denture cleansing is performed by a number of products, which are divided into two main classes – natural cleanser and chemical cleansers. Chemical cleansers include sodium bicarbonate, sodium hypochlorite, and astringent. Natural cleansers include Aloe vera, triphala, and cashew leaf. There are many side effects of chemical denture cleansers that include irritation, tissue damage, rash, hives, gum tenderness, breathing problems, and low blood pressure. Natural products for denture cleansing are easily available and are economical. Among the natural cleansers, Aloe vera is the most common one used. It has significant antimicrobial property.[23]

A processed form of Aloe vera inhibits the growth of Candida albicans. Shetty et al. evaluated the anticandidal efficacy of denture cleansing tablet, triphala, Aloe vera, and cashew leaf on complete denture of fifty patients and found that candida count reduced maximum by the use of triphala followed by Aloe vera, cashew leaf, and water (control).[23]Aloe vera contains six antiseptic agents such as lupeol, salicylic acid, urea nitrogen, cinnamic acid, phenols, and sulfur has inhibitory action on fungi, bacteria, and viruses. It prevents denture stomatitis.[23]

The saponins are soppy substance which contains glycosides that have both cleansing and antiseptic property. The saponins act strongly as antimicrobial against bacteria, viruses, fungi, and yeast.[3]Aloe vera is also used along with soft liners. The gel is helpful in preventing fungal growth. Applying the gel on dentures twice a day for few minutes and then washing it away with a solution of half vinegar and half water can help loosen plaque and eliminate stains. A soft toothbrush can be used with Aloe vera gel followed by a thorough wash with warm water. Aloe vera is not harmful on swallowing.[9] People with less access to oral hygiene measures can be benefitted by the use of these natural products.

Dental uses of Aloe vera are multiple. It can be used in periodontal surgery, endodontic treatment, treatment of halitosis, dental implants, etc. It is also used as tooth gel, mouthwash, and denture adhesives, etc. If the patient is allergic to Aloe vera, it may cause redness, burning, and tingling sensation. Allergic reaction is due to anthraquinones such as aloin and barbaloin. It is best to apply it to a small area first to test for possible allergic reaction. In case of accidental ingestion of Aloe vera, it may cause abdominal cramps, diarrhea, red urine, hepatitis, dependency, or worsening of consistency in few patients.[15]

  Conclusion Top

Aloe vera has many beneficial properties such as antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiviral, which is an essential requirement for any denture cleansing agent. Dentures harbor a lot of microorganisms, for which regular cleansing is essential. There are many chemical cleansers available, which may have side effects such as burning sensation and redness. Hence, natural substances such as Aloe vera can be used as a denture cleansing agent which are easily available, having similar properties as chemical denture cleansers but with minimal side effects.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

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[PUBMED]  [Full text]  


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]

  [Table 1]

This article has been cited by
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M Shilpa,A Veena Shetty,Vinaya Bhat,Mora SR Reddy,Prashant Punde
World Journal of Dentistry. 2020; 11(1): 36
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


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