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Jitesh S Kuwatada et al
Turmeric: A Boon to Oral Health
1Jitesh S Kuwatada, 2Mitali Raja, 3Poonam Sood
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
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.
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 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, 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:
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
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
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
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
“Turmeric,” the “Indian Saffron,” is being widely used
effectively in various medical conditions. It has shown
Jitesh S Kuwatada et al
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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Curcuma longa going by the name of turmeric, Indian saffron, golden spice, spice of life and yellowroot gained out of a Latin term ‘terra merita’, meaning that admirable earth. The spice is commonly known in the kitchen used in traditional cultures and medicines for 6000years is now being used worldwide at the clinical and molecular level. There have been many studies published in the last few decades regarding the importance and uses of turmeric in Ayurvedic medicine, in modern medicine, in household uses for the different ailments remedy. Hence, signify its biological, clinical, pharmacological activities. This old age spice has now become an integral part of the vast research areas to develop new ways in the future. Curcumin, the polyphenol derived from turmeric, has been noticed by scientists and researchers worldwide as an antioxidant, anti inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral agent. This review emphasis on the importance and use of turmeric since ancient times to explore new areas of research which can be beneficial in today’s generation. The objective of this article is to highlight its ethnobotanical significance, its different varieties, curcumin content and its uses in different areas. This provides a brief beneficial overview and shows its powerful medicinal activities in a wide area of research. Hence, concluded as the most beneficial medicinal plant worldwide.
... Although turmeric has been around for thousands of years, it has recently become popular due to its medicinal properties. Traditionally, turmeric was used for its digestive and carminative properties [29]. Free radicals generated by oxygen can be scavenged by curcumin. ...
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The traditional and herbal medicines play significant role in the treatment of several diseases. These medicines are the outcome of extensive research on therapeutic and preventive activity of various plant species and their specific parts. Administration of various plant parts, vegetables, fruits and other herbal constituents have significant impact on reduction of clinical, carcinogenic and genotoxic effects of various environmental toxicants. Various parts of plant such as wood, bark, stem, leaf and pod are rich in antioxidants which are known for their free radical scavenging activity. Currently, the treatment options rely significantly using natural anti-oxidants which are extracted from plant products because these are largely available, cost effective and non-toxic as compared to the synthetic drugs. Some potent natural anti-oxidants include tocopherol, ascorbic acid, flavonoids, quercetin, carotene, cinnamic acid, peptides and phenolic compounds which are extensively available in various herbal extracts. The present chapter will focus upon availability of various antioxidants in vegetables and other medicinal plants and their potential activities against xenobiotics.
... Due to a wide spectrum of pharmacological activities, turmeric has received much attention worldwide in recent years. Turmeric possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, antimicrobial and antimutagenic properties (Kuwatada et al., 2017). Turmeric is used as a traditional medicine in the Ayurvedic, Unani and Siddha systems of medicine (Selvi et al., 2015). ...
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Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is extensively used as a spice and a coloring agent in Southeast Asia. Turmeric is used as a traditional remedy for cough, diabetic wounds, hepatic disorders, and rheumatism due to its antiseptic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Since the last few decades, extensive work has been done on turmeric and its constituents to explore its pharmacological actions. Curcumin is the main constituent of turmeric and is well demonstrated for its anti-inflammatory, hypoglycaemic, antioxidant, wound-healing, and antimicrobial activities. The functional neurons of the brain and synapses are lost in neurodegenerative disorders for which there is no permanent cure. Oxidative damage and inflammation play a role in age-related neurological disorders. The antioxidants have the ability to prevent different neurological disorders. Recent studies have shown that both turmeric and curcumin possess neuroprotective and cognitiveenhancing properties that help to prevent neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson’s disease. Different experimental studies have indicated the antioxidant and anti-ageing properties of turmeric and curcumin. Various studies have shown that curcumin acts as a strong barrier against neurological disorders and, hence, it may be a potential drug candidate for the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. The aim of this review was to present the current pieces of evidence in the literature regarding the neuroprotective effects of turmeric and curcumin.
Objective : Recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) is a highly prevalent painful inflammatory condition. Curcumin is currently used as a medicinal herb with optimal anti-inflammatory properties for many inflammatory conditions. However, due to its low water solubility and consequently low bioavailability, its nanoparticulate formulation has been considered for use. This study aimed to compare the efficacy of topical application of 1% curcumin nanomicelle gel and 2% curcumin gel for treatment of RAS. Methods : This double-blind randomized clinical trial evaluated 48 RAS patients. The patients randomly received 1% curcumin nanomicelle gel or 2% curcumin gel, and were asked to apply it three times/day for one week. The severity of pain was measured using a visual analog scale (VAS), and the size of lesions (in millimeters) was measured by a periodontal probe before (baseline), and at 4, and 7 days after treatment. Data were analyzed by repeated measures ANOVA. Results : No significant difference was noted in the pain score (P=0.160) or size of lesions (P=0.432) between the two groups at baseline. At 7 days, the pain score and size of lesions significantly decreased in both groups (P<0.05). The reduction in pain score and lesion size was significantly greater in the curcumin nanomicelle gel group at both 4 and 7 days (P<0.05). Also, the efficacy index (EI) was higher in curcumin nanomicelle gel group. Conclusions : The 1% curcumin nanomicelle gel can be effectively used to enhance the healing of RAS.
Background: The topical routes of administering drug have certain visible advantages as direct application of a drug to the site of action and persistence of action for prolonged duration. More stability and better application property of gel cause its use for topical application. Objectives: To determine and compare antibacterial efficacy of commercially available different dental gels. Methods: For the evaluation of antibacterial efficacy of commercially available different antiseptic gels on Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus acidophilus well-diffusion method was used. To assess the antibacterial efficacy after incubation in appropriate culture medium diameter of zone of inhibition was measured. Results: Maximum zone of inhibition was found with Curenext gel (40 mm,40mm) followed by Hexigel (30 mm, 21mm) Mucopain (17 mm, 17mm) and Dologel (7 mm, 16mm) against S. mutans and L. acidophilus respectively. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Post Hoc Test were used to analyze results statistically. The difference between commercially available different dental gels was statistically significant (P < 0.001) at 5% of level of significance. Conclusion: In the present study, it was seen that Curenext gel was more effective followed by Hexigel, Mucopain gel and Dologel on S. Mutans and L. Acidophilus.
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The use of plant products to improve dental health and to promote oral hygiene is in exists long since. The rise in the use of sugar diet, bakery products, and carbonated drinks increases the prevalence of dental caries. Lack of oral hygiene results in accumulation of plaque and calculus, which is the major etiology factors for gingivitis and periodontitis. Undoubtedly, the natural products are the source for most of the pharmaceuticals. A range of treatment modalities are available for the treatment of different oral diseases. The frequent use and misuse of currently available therapeutic agents have led to the evolution of increased incidence of adverse effects and development of resistant strains. Hence, the search for an alternative option continues. This article aims to review the efficacy of natural products such as turmeric, camphor, and clove in maintaining oral health in particular and overall health in general.
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Curcumin is the most important fraction of turmeric which is responsible for its biological activity. In this study, isolation and biological ssessment of turmeric and curcumin have been discussed against standard bacterial and mycobacterial strains such as E.coli, S.aureus, E.feacalis, P.aeuroginosa, M.smegmatis, M.simiae, M.kansasii, M. terrae, M.szulgai and the fungi Candida albicans. The antioxidant activity of curcumin and turmeric were also determined by the CUPRAC method. Curcumin, turmeric, Curcuma longa, antimicrobial activity, antioxidant activity, CUPRAC method
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Introduction: The increase of potential side effects and safety concerns of conventional medicaments have led to the recent popularity of herbal alternative medications. The herbal products are known for its high antimicrobial activity, biocompatibility, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Aim: The purpose of this study was to investigate and compare the effectiveness of Propolis, Metronidazole with Chlorhexidine gel, Curcuma Longa and Calcium Hydroxide for elimination of E.faecalis bacteria in extracted teeth samples. Materials and Methods: Ninety extracted single rooted intact teeth were taken for the study. Decoronation, removal of apices and chemomechanical preparation was done for all samples. These sterilized samples were then contaminated with pure culture of E.faecalis under laminar flow. The samples were incubated for a period of 21 days. The infected samples were assigned to 5 groups: Group I- Propolis; Group II- Metronidazole with Chlorhexidine gel; Group III- Calcium hydroxide; Group IVCurcuma Longa; and control group- Saline. Efficacy of newer intracanal medicaments against E.faecalis were carried out in the samples at the end of 1, 2 & 5 days for each group with the help of colorimeter. Student paired t-test, ANOVA and multiple tukey test were used for statistical analysis. Results: The value of optical density was statistically significant in all groups when compared to that of control group. Group I (Propolis) produced better antimicrobial efficacy followed by Chlorhexidine Metronidazole combination, Curcuma Longa and Calcium hydroxide. Conclusion: Within the limitations of this study, it can be concluded that Propolis showed better antimicrobial properties against E.faecalis than other medicaments.
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Background and Objectives: Oral submucous fibrosis (OSMF), A chronic disease characterized by fibrosis of oral mucosa is a premalignant condition carrying a high-risk of malignant transformation. So far none of the treatment modalities have proved curative. Turmeric and its active ingredient "curcumin" are being studied upon as chemopreventive agents in various diseases. This study was carried-out to evaluate the efficacy of turmeric dispensed in two forms, namely curcumin capsules and turmeric oil in patients with OSMF both clinically and histopathologically and to compare them with conventional chemopreventive treatment Materials and Methods: Forty eight patients who were clinically and histopathologically confirmed as having OSMF were selected for the study and were randomly divided into three groups. Group I patients were given curcumin capsules. Group II turmeric oil and Group III: the control group were provided with muttinal tablets. The patients were called upon every 15 days for 3 months of treatment and then followed up every month for 6 months. The results were analyzed with Anova Technique and Students" test. Results: After treatment and follow-up statistically significant improvement was observed in the clinical signs and symptoms of patients treated with curcumin and turmeric oil when compared to those with multinal. Positive changes were also observed in the histopathological examination after treatment with curcumin and turmeric oil. Conclusion The therapy with curcumin and turmeric oil is beneficial, affordable and noninvasive form of treatment in patients with OSMF.
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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.
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.
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.
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.