Investigators at the West China School of Stomatology tested hundreds of Chinese herbs and identified that Galla Chinensis has strong potential to prevent dental cavities due to its antibacterial capacity and tooth mineralisation benefits.
Galla Chinensis also possesses substantial antiviral, anticancer, hepato-protective, anti-diarrhoea and antioxidant activities, according to findings published in The Open Dentistry Journal.
To maintain a healthy mouth, the oral environment must be relatively neutral. When the environment in the mouth becomes more acidic, dental cavities or other disorders may develop.
Galla Chinensis was revealed to inhibit the acid production of caries-associated bacteria, as well as to make teeth more resistant to acidic attack.
In the present study, several Galla Chinensis extracts with different main ingredients were obtained and determined by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) analysis.
Its antibacterial capacity was determined using the polymicrobial biofilms model, which can generate reproducible plaque-like biofilms that occur in vivo.
The effect of inhibiting tooth demineralisation was tested using an in vitro pH-cycling regime, which mimicked the periodic pH change in the mouth.
The paper stated: "The composition of water extract (GCE), ethanol extract (eGCE) and commercial tannic acid was compared."
All the GCE, eGCE and tannic acid contained a high level of total phenolics, but eGCE and tannic acid showed a better effect on inhibiting enamel demineralisation, acid formation and biofilm formation.
"Galla chinensis extracts with higher tannin content were suggested to have higher potential to prevent dental caries," the study concluded.
Significant reductions in the prevalence and incidence of cavities have been made by the introduction of fluoride, but it is not a total cure and there is still a need to use products complementary to fluoride.
Based on these new findings, the research team is working with the industry to develop new oral care products.
Source: The Open Dentistry Journal
"Comparison of Composition and Anticaries Effect of Galla Chinensis Extracts with Different Isolation Methods”
Authors: Xuelian Huang, et al.