Traditional Asian medicine and oral health

Andrea T. Borchers, Tin K. Mao, M. Eric Gershwin, Carl L Keen, Harold H. Schmitz, Hiroshi Watanabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Standard Western medicine has had only limited success in the prevention of periodontal disease and in the treatment of a variety of oral diseases. In vitro studies indicate that many Asian botanical formulae, including their individual herbal compounds and chemical constituents, exhibit antibacterial and antifungal properties, which may significantly delay the development of plaque, calculus, and caries. While anticariogenic and anticalculus activities for some of these substances have been demonstrated in animal models; however, results from human clinical trials have been inconclusive. Some therapeutic approaches based on traditional Asian medicine have been reported to result in the successful treatment of such oral complaints as xerostomia (dry mouth), oral lichen planus, and glossodynia. However, at present many of the relevant studies are only available in the Chinese or Japanese language. With respect to those that have been published in English, many are difficult to interpret due to weak study designs. Nevertheless, the existing data are encouraging, and warrant further studies on traditional Asian medicine and their application to oral health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-26
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Traditional Medicines
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2004


  • dental hygiene
  • IgA
  • Kampo
  • oral health
  • traditional Chinese medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Drug Discovery


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