Neutral oral environments lead to better oral health, as acid can lead to caries. An herb known as Galla Chinensis that has substantial antiviral, anticancer, hepatoprotective, antidiarrheal, and antioxidant properties also inhibits the acid production of caries-associated bacteria and makes teeth more resistant to acidic attack via mineralization, according to researchers from the West China School of Stomatology and the Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam.
The researchers obtained several Galla Chinensis extracts and identified them by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis. Next, they determined the extracts’ antibacterial capacity using the polymicrobial biofilms model, which can generate reproducible plaque-like biofilms in vivo. The researchers also tested the extracts’ effect on tooth demineralization using an in vitro pH-cyclic regime that mimicked the periodic pH change in the mouth.
“Medium molecular weight gallotannins are the most active constituent in terms of caries prevention,” said Xuelian Huang, PhD, DDS, lead author of the study.
While fluoride can significantly reduce caries, the researchers noted that it is not a total cure, and there is still a need to seek products that complement its effects. With these new findings, the researchers are working with industry partners to develop new oral care products. The study, “Comparison of Composition and Anticaries Effect of Galla Chinensis Extracts with Different Isolation Methods,” was published by The Open Dentistry Journal.