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Jitesh S Kuwatada et al
338
Turmeric: A Boon to Oral Health
1Jitesh S Kuwatada, 2Mitali Raja, 3Poonam Sood
IJOCR
REVIEW ARTICLE
10.5005/jp-journals-10051-0128
Turmeric plays a crucial role in dentistry, as it is useful
in treating periodontal disease and oral cancers, and can
be used as pit and fissure sealant, mouthwash, subgin-
gival irrigant, local drug delivery system, and in other
endodontic applications.2
CHEMICAL PROPERTIES
In 1815, Roughley isolated C. longa while its chemical
structure was determined in 1973 by Whiting. It contains
fats, proteins, minerals, carbohydrates, and moisture.
The yellow color is due to curcumin (diferuloylmethane)
(3–4%). It comprises curcumin I (94%), curcumin II (6%),
and curcumin III (0.3%). Its melting point is 184°C, soluble
in ethanol, and exists in solution as keto–enol tautomers.7
Demethoxy and bisdemethoxy derivatives of curcumin
have also been isolated.
PHARMACOKINETICS
Curcumin has poor oral bioavailability. Poor absorption
in intestine, high metabolic rate, and rapid systemic
elimination from body are responsible for its poor oral
bioavailability.2 Around 40 to 85% oral dose of curcumin
passes unchanged from the gastrointestinal tract. In order
to increase absorption and anti-inflammatory effect, cur-
cumin is formulated with bormelain.8
TURMERIC: HERBAL MEDICINE
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticarcino-
genic, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties.9 It also has
potential therapeutic properties, which gives benefits in
our day-to-day life. It is used as an antiseptic in disinfec-
tion of burns and cuts. It regulates insulin levels; thus, it
has antidiabetic, antiapoptotic, antiangiogenic, and immu-
nomodulatory properties. It prevents platelet aggregation
(antithrombotic), cancer cell metastasis, and melanoma,
and reduces chances of childhood leukemia. It also acts as
natural painkiller due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Hence, it is used in the treatment of arthritis. It reduces
blood cholesterol, helps in detoxification of liver and fat
metabolism, strengthens the immune system, and also
enhances wound healing. This makes turmeric a boon for
many medical conditions.10,11
TURMERIC AND ORAL HEALTH
Turmeric, which is widely used for various medical condi-
tions, is also being utilized in dentistry. Its anti-inflammatory
1-3Assistant Professor
1Department of Community Medicine, Mahavir Institute of
Medical Sciences, Vikarabad, Telangana, India
2Department of Dentistry, Mahavir Institute of Medical Sciences
Vikarabad, Telangana, India
3Department of Public Health Dentistry, Dr Harvansh Singh
Judge Institute of Dental Sciences & Hospital, Panjab University
Chandigarh, India
Corresponding Author: Jitesh S Kuwatada, Assistant
Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Mahavir Institute
of Medical Sciences, Vikarabad, Telangana, India, Phone:
+919766702271, e-mail: jiteshk55@yahoo.com
ABSTRACT
Turmeric, also called as Curcuma longa, is used as a avor-
ing agent, medicinal herb, and dye in Asian countries. In India
where Ayurveda is a system of herbal medicine, turmeric is
known for strengthening and warming the whole body. The main
component in turmeric is curcumin, which has a wide range of
properties, such as anti-inammatory, antioxidant, antimuta-
genic, and antimicrobial. The main objective of this article is to
review the importance and therapeutic properties of turmeric in
oral health. Various databases like PubMed, Cochrane, Index
Copernicus, EBESCO, etc., were searched to collect data about
turmeric and oral health. The effectiveness of turmeric in the
treatment of dental pain, periodontal diseases, oral cancers,
and as a sealant, mouthwash, toothpaste, and subgingival as
well as endodontic irrigant will be discussed.
Keywords: Anticancer, Oral health, Subgingival irrigant,
Turmeric, Turmeric mouthwash.
How to cite this article: Kuwatada JS, Raja M, Sood P. Turmeric:
A Boon to Oral Health. Int J Oral Care Res 2017;5(4):338-341.
Source of support: Nil
Conict of interest: None
INTRODUCTION
Turmeric, the most common ingredient found in the
Indian kitchen, is also known as “Indian Saffron.”1 Its
importance as a home remedy for many ailments has been
proven since long time and now it is gaining importance
in modern medicine and dentistry.2 The active ingredient
curcumin is obtained from the rhizome Curcuma longa
Linn.3 The uses of turmeric, as mentioned in Ayurveda,
are to treat eye infection, burns, acne, skin disease, and
also as a bitter digestive and carminative.4, 5 It possesses
antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anticar-
cinogenic, and antimutagenic properties.6
Turmeric: A Boon to Oral Health
International Journal of Oral Care and Research, October-December 2017;5(4):338-341
339
IJOCR
property helps in pain relief, gingivitis, and periodontitis. It
is also used as colorant in pit-and-fissure sealant or in dental
plaque detection system. Its chemopreventive activity is
also beneficial in the treatment of premalignant lesions
and conditions in the oral cavity.12 Uses of this wonderful
naturally available product are discussed below.
Inammatory Dental Conditions
Inflammation can be quickly relieved by using turmeric
water (5 gm of turmeric powder with two cloves, two
dried leaves of guava in 200 gm of water is boiled) as a
mouth rinse. Pain and swelling can also be reduced by
massaging roasted, ground turmeric on aching teeth.
Gingivitis and periodontitis can be alleviated by using
a paste containing 1 tsp of turmeric, ½ tsp of salt, and ½
tsp of mustard oil on the teeth and gums twice daily.13
Waghmare et al6 found that turmeric mouthwash can
be used as an adjunct to mechanical plaque control in
prevention and reduction of plaque and gingivitis. Yukie
et al14 found that toothpaste containing C. longa reduces
gingivitis or mild periodontitis.
Anticariogenic Effect
Lee et al15 found that essential oil from C. longa inhibits
growth and acid production of Streptococcus mutans at a
level of 0.5 to 4 mg/mL and, thus, has an anticariogenic
effect. This property can make turmeric an important
component in pit-and-fissure sealant.
Dental Plaque Detection
Dental plaque is barely visible to the naked eyes, as it is
usually colorless. Turmeric can be used in the detection
of plaque. It stains plaque to yellow color and helps in its
detection.16 The dental plaque detection system includes
a dental plaque staining agent, which contains at least
one agent selected from the yellow pigment of beni-koji,
turmeric extracts, and curcumin; and a light-emitting
apparatus, which outputs light having a wavelength
within a range of 250 to 500 nm to an object in the oral
cavity where the dental plaque staining agent is attached.5
Subgingival Irrigant
Studies conducted by Suhag et al17 and Gottumukkala
et al18 showed that curcumin solution (1%) can be used as
a subgingival irrigant as it reduces inflammation. Mean
probing pocket depth in turmeric is less when compared
with chlorhexidine and saline.
Endodontic Irrigant (Intracanal Medicament)
Turmeric can be used as an antibacterial agent in the
treatment of infected root canal with added advantages
of ease of availability, cost-effectiveness, and other bio-
logical activities. Studies have shown that turmeric has
antimicrobial property against endodontic pathogens and
can be used as potential endodontic irrigant/intracanal
medicament.19-22
Local Drug Delivery System
Turmeric gel (2%) can be used as a local drug delivery
system in addition to scaling and root planing in the
treatment of periodontitis and, thus, reducing the pocket
depth and gaining of clinical attachment levels. Multiple
studies have tried to elaborate on the scope of turmeric
as a local drug delivery system.23-25
Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis
Recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) is an inflammatory
condition of unknown etiology, affecting the oral mucosa.
Approximately about 20% of the population suffer from
RAS in their lives. The disease mainly involves nonkera-
tinized mucosal surfaces and is characterized by single
or multiple painful ulcers with periodic recurrence and
healing. The appearance of ulcers is preceded by a pro-
drome of localized burning or pain which lasts for around
24 to 48 hours.26 Turmeric was found to be helpful in
reducing intensity of pain and size of aphthous ulcers.27,28
Precancerous Lesions and Conditions
Turmeric acts as effective agent in precancerous lesions
and conditions by virtue of its antioxidant property and
deoxyribonucleic acid protective mechanisms. It increases
the levels of serum and salivary vitamins C and E in
leukoplakia, and lichen planus, and oral submucous
fibrosis.29 Turmeric is a beneficial, easily available, and
noninvasive form for the treatment of oral submucous
fibrosis, and its use leads to a significant decrease in
burning sensation.30,31 Higher dosages of curcumin (up
to 6000 mg/day) are effective in reduction of oral lichen
planus symptoms in patients.32
Anticancer Agent
Turmeric inhibits the early stages of carcinogenesis due
to its antioxidant and free radical properties. It has effect
on several biological pathways involved in mutagenesis,
oncogene expression, cell cycle regulation, apoptosis,
tumorigenesis, and metastasis. Apart from this, turmeric
arrests carcinomatous cells in the G2/M phase of cell cycle.
Thus, it can be effective against various types of cancers.33,34
CONCLUSION
“Turmeric,” the “Indian Saffron,” is being widely used
effectively in various medical conditions. It has shown
Jitesh S Kuwatada et al
340
effects from improving general well-being to being a treat-
ment component of some cancers. Its use in oral health is
also documented in several studies. Its easy availability
and affordability make it a suitable candidate for use in
various oral health remedies, especially in developing
countries such as India. The anti-inflammatory, antimi-
crobial, and anticancer properties of turmeric and its
other multiple therapeutic applications can be utilized to
a wide extent not only in dentistry, but also for overall oral
health conditions. Further research is required to prove its
exact role, optimal dosages, and other pharmacokinetic
properties. Thus, with such a wide variety of therapeutic
applications, “turmeric” can be considered to be a boon
for oral health in the future.
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... The curcumin found is comprised of 3 types -Curcumin I (94%), curcumin II (6%) & curcumin III (0.3%). [4][5][6] Turmeric contains protein (6.3%), fat (5.1%), minerals (3.5%), carbohydrates (69.4%) and moisture (13.1%). [7] Curcumin with a melting point of 184°C is a lipophilic polyphenol that is nearly insoluble in water but is quite stable in the acidic pH of the stomach. ...
... Also, it is found to arrest carcinomatous cells in the G2/M phase of cell cycle, in which cells are more susceptible to cytotoxic effects of radiotherapy. [4] Antimicrobial Turmeric extract and the essential oil of Curcuma longa inhibits the growth of a variety of bacteria, parasites and pathogenic fungi. Curcumin and the oil fraction inhibit the growth of variety of bacteria like Streptococci, Staphylococci, Lactobacillus and Helicobacter pylori Cag A + strains in vitro. ...
... [61] Curcumin can be used for treatment of oral lichen planus and has shown immunomodulatory effect involving activation of host macrophages and natural killer cells and modulation of lymphocytes mediated function. [4] In the treatment of oral submucous fibrosis curcumin acts by; ...
... It is used as an antibacterial agent in the treatment of infected root canals. It is available, cost-effective, and can be used for a variety of biological activities (Kuwatada et al., 2017). ...
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To evaluate and compare the clinical effects of topical subgingival application of 2% whole turmeric gel and 1% chlorhexidine gel as an adjunct to scaling and root planing (SRP) in patients suffering from chronic periodontitis. Fifteen patients with localized or generalized chronic periodontitis with a pocket depth of 5-7 mm were selected. In each patient, on completion of SRP, three non-adjacent sites in three different quadrants were randomly divided into three different groups, that is, Group I: Those receiving 2% turmeric gel, Group II: Those receiving 1% chlorhexidine gel (Hexigel), and Group III: SRP alone (control site). Plaque index, gingival index, probing depth, and clinical attachment levels were determined at baseline, 30 days, and 45 days. Group II as a local drug system was better than Group III. Group I showed comparable improvement in all the clinical parameters as Group II. The experimental local drug delivery system containing 2% whole turmeric gel helped in reduction of probing depth and gain of clinical attachment levels.
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Background: It has been reported that curcumin has anti inflammatory, antibacterial, anti tumor and analgesic properties. Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of curcumin in the treatment of minor aphthous stomatitis. Methods: The study was a two week, randomized, double blind, placebo controlled of patients with minor aphthous. Patients between 18 and 65 years old were included if they presented with 1-5 aphthous ulcers of less than 24 h duration. Twenty-eight patients were randomly allocated to curcumin gel containing (2% curcumin) and 29 patients were allocated to placebo gel for a two week, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. The patients used the medication using a swap twice per day. After enrolment, the size of ulcers were measured by the investigator, and pain was evaluated by the patients based on Perceived Pain Rating Scale before drug application (day 0) and at days 4, 7, and 14. Patients overall satisfaction were assessed at the end of treatment. Results: Curcimin gel significantly reduced pain intensity and size of aphthous ulcer compare to placebo. Significant group differences appeared at the end of the trial regarding overall satisfaction of the patients. Conclusion: The results of present study provide evidence that curcumin gel is a well tolerated effective treatment modality for minor aphthous stomatitis.
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Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is an ancient dye, flavouring and medical herb, widely used in Asian countries. It is a herb that has been widely used in Indian medicine, cookery, and cosmetics. The main component of turmeric is curcumin. Curcumin has a surprisingly wide range of beneficial properties includes anti inflammatory, antioxidant, chemopreventive, chemotherapeutic activity etc. The activity of curcumin derived from its complex chemistry as well as its ability to influence the multiple signalling pathways. This review article is to highlight the pharmacological action and its therapeutic role in dentistry.
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Background of the Study: The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of natural curcumin in the management of chronic periodontitis as local drug delivery in comparison to synthetic chlorhexidine, which is the gold standard. Thirty chronic periodontitis patients with an age range of 20-50 years with probing pocket depth (PPD) of 4-6 mm were included. Curcumin and chlorhexidine gel was applied in the contralateral disease sites at baseline and day 15. The clinical parameters like PPD, clinical attachment level (CAL), gingival index (Loe and Silness) and plaque index (Turesky Gillmore modification of Quigley Hein) were recorded and colony forming units (CFU) were assessed microbiologically at baseline, 15 and 30 days. There was a significant reduction of the clinical parameters (PPD, CAL) and microbiological parameters CFU at 15 and 30 days for both the groups. Curcumin group showed a greater reduction in the clinical parameters when compared with chlorhexidine group. Both groups had a significant reduction in parameters when compared with baseline. Although curcumin has equivalent benefit to chlorhexidine, curcumin being an ayurvedic herb is an excellent alternative to chlorhexidine due to minimal side-effects.