Curcumin – best known as the bioactive ingredient in turmeric – boasts significant health benefits. This highly nutritious brain enhancer has been at the forefront of recent research regarding Alzheimer's disease, and may also come to play a substantial role in future cancer treatment due to its documented ability to inhibit cellular metastasis. In addition, a 2012 report revealed that taking daily curcumin supplements could substantially improve the general health of middle-aged individuals.
Now, the quarterly journal Oral Health & Preventive Dentistry has released the results of a pilot study regarding the benefits of curcumin for combating gingivitis. Characterized by gum inflammation, this periodontal condition affects more than 50 percent of people over 20 years old, according to the National of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
In the new study, researchers sought to compare the effects of a curcumin-based mouthwash to the chlorhexidine options traditionally used to treat gum disease. Thirty adults with chronic gingivitis were recruited for the trial. All of the participants underwent a dental procedure – scaling and root planing – then were divided into three groups: one portion used curcumin mouthwash, another was given a chlorhexidine product and the third division acted as the control.
The scientists then measured the gingival and plaque buildup of each individual and found that, while the conditions of every participant had benefited as a result of the dental procedure, the groups that used the curcumin and chlorhexidine both enjoyed more noticeable improvement.
Based on this finding, the researchers concluded that "Curcumin is comparable to chlorhexidine as an anti-inflammatory mouthwash [and] can be considered as an effective adjunct to mechanical periodontal therapy."
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