Oral Health Prev Dent 17 (2019), No. 5 18. Oct. 2019
Purpose: This paper discusses the cariostatic mechanisms of some of the most promising natural products and explores the research directions that are needed to translate the potential of natural products into commercial oral care products for dental caries control.
Materials and Methods: The search strategy for this narrative review involved performing a comprehensive literature search to capture all published studies (up to December 2017) specifically related to natural products with anticaries effects. The databases searched were Medline (via PubMed), Embase and Web of Science, using a combination of controlled vocabulary and text words. The reference list of all selected studies was also manually searched for additional relevant studies.
Results: In recent years there has been renewed interest in the anticariogenic properties of several natural products, especially those that have the ability to inhibit cariogenic virulence properties or bacterial adhesion without disrupting the key health benefits of the resident oral microbiome. Other cariostatic mechanisms identified for natural products include phytochemicals that can inhibit demineralisation and enhance remineralisation thereby beneficially rebalancing the caries equilibrium, and natural non-fermentable dietary sweeteners that can reduce the acidogenic challenge posed by sugar-laden foods or beverages.
Conclusion: Natural phytochemicals hold enormous potential as adjunctive therapeutic agents against cariogenic bacteria in the prevention and control of dental caries. However, there are several significant challenges to which future research needs to be directed in order to translate the potential of cariostatic natural products into clinically relevant oral care products for dental caries control.
Keywords: dental caries, natural products, prevention