Journal of the Scientific Society

REVIEW ARTICLE
Year
: 2022  |  Volume : 49  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 103--105

Role of Aloe vera in the management of oral submucous fibrosis


Palak H Shah, Rashmi Venkatesh 
 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, K. M. Shah Dental College and Hospital, Sumandeep Vidyapeeth Deemed to be University, Vadodara, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Palak H Shah
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, K. M. Shah Dental College and Hospital, Sumandeep Vidyapeeth Deemed to be University, Piparia, Vadodara, Gujarat
India

Abstract

Oral submucous fibrosis (OSMF) is a potentially malignant disorder of the oral cavity commonly prevalent in India and other southeastern countries where consumption of areca nut is predominated. As it has significant morbidity and mortality, early diagnosis and prompt treatment are essential. At present, none of the treatment modalities offers a complete cure for the diseases. Thus, in the search of newer treatment modalities, various Ayurvedic medicines have been studied in recent years. The present review aims to summarize the role of Aloe vera for the treatment of OSMF.



How to cite this article:
Shah PH, Venkatesh R. Role of Aloe vera in the management of oral submucous fibrosis.J Sci Soc 2022;49:103-105


How to cite this URL:
Shah PH, Venkatesh R. Role of Aloe vera in the management of oral submucous fibrosis. J Sci Soc [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Oct 6 ];49:103-105
Available from: https://www.jscisociety.com/text.asp?2022/49/2/103/354275


Full Text



 Introduction



Oral submucous fibrosis (OSMF) is a chronic, debilitating potentially malignant condition of the oral cavity characterized by progressive inability to open the mouth due to the loss of elasticity and development of vertical fibrous bands in labial and buccal tissue. The etiology is mainly associated with the consumption of areca nut and related products.[1],[2] It was first described in the literature by Schwartz in 1952.[3] Joshi subsequently coined the term oral submucous fibrosis (OSMF) for the condition in 1953.[4] The premalignant nature of this condition was described by Pindborg and Sirsat four decades ago.[3],[4],[5]

Unlike other precancerous lesions and conditions, OSMF is insidious in origin and does not regress, either spontaneously or with cessation of the habit. Various medicinal and surgical treatment modalities are used with different degrees of effectiveness, but none offers a complete cure.[3] Hence, the search for effective treatment modalities is still continued. Since centuries, the usefulness of various Ayurvedic medicines for various diseases is well established. The effectiveness of certain Ayurvedic medicines has also been proposed for oral precancerous and cancerous lesions.[6] Aloe vera is one such Ayurvedic medicine.

 Aloe vera



The name Aloe vera is derived from the Arabic word “Alloeh” meaning “shining bitter substance,” and “vera” in Latin means “true.” The botanical name of Aloe vera is Aloe barbadensis Miller. It belongs to the Liliaceae family.[7] It is a cactus-like plant which grows in dry and hot climates. Aloe vera mainly grows in Africa, Northern America, India, Egypt, and Sudan.[8] Aloe vera gel is rich in various vitamins, enzymes, minerals, sugars, fatty acids, and anthraquinones. It has various pharmacological actions such as antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumor, immunomodulatory, and hypoglycemic.[7],[8] These properties make Aloe vera useful for various therapeutic indications.

 Aloe vera in Oral Mucosal Lesions



Due to its pharmacological and biological properties, Aloe vera has been used for various dental and oral applications. Aloe vera has given promising therapeutic outcomes as an endodontic medicament and treatment overextraction socket.[9],[10] It has been used as a component of various dentifrices too.[11] Previous studies have demonstrated the use of Aloe vera has been used in the treatment of various oral mucosal lesions such as oral lichen planus,[12],[13] Recurrent aphthous ulcers,[14],[15] herpes simplex and herpes zoster infections,[16] radiation-induced mucositis,[17] burning mouth syndrome,[18] xerostomia,[19] candidal denture stomatitis,[20] and periodontitis[21] due to its excellent medicinal properties.

 Aloe vera in Oral Submucous Fibrosis



Aloe vera contains several vitamins, i.e., Vitamin A, C, and E, antioxidant properties of which help to combat destructive free radicals. These vitamins also have wound healing properties and they boost the immune system. The fatty acids, salicylic acid, and hormones such as auxins and Gibberellins have anti-inflammatory properties. Aloe vera increases blood supply and speeds up healing. It is a mannoprotein, containing many amino acids which are called “wound-healing hormones.” The polysaccharides contained in the Aloe vera gel also have wound healing, immunomodulatory, and anticancer properties. The sterols in Aloe vera have antiseptic, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties. All these properties of Aloe vera are thought to be useful in the treatment of OSMF.[8],[22]

Sudarshan et al.[22] conducted a comparative study between Aloe vera and other antioxidants for the treatment of OSMF. In results, they observed significant improvement in mouth opening and cheek flexibility and reduction in burning sensation with Aloe vera gel.

Patil et al.[23] compared efficacy of Aloe vera gel with oxitard tablets for OMSF treatment. Positive results were found with Aloe vera but oxitard showed superior results. However, the authors mentioned that Aloe vera has the advantage of being economical as compared to oxitard tablets.

Patil et al.[24] compared therapeutic efficacy of Aloe vera and spirulina for treatment of OMSF. In both groups, a significant increase in mouth opening and reduction of symptoms were noted. The authors mentioned that both medicines were equally effective.

Singh et al.[6] compared effectiveness of Aloe vera gel plus physiotherapy to antoxid tablets plus physiotherapy. Both the groups exhibited therapeutic benefits but the Aloe vera group was found to be better in terms of treatment outcomes.

Alam et al.[25] studied the beneficial effects of Aloe vera gel in medically and surgically treated OSMF patients. They found Aloe vera has beneficial effects in reduction of burning sensation, improvement in tongue protrusion and cheek flexibility and maintenance of mouth opening.

Anuradha et al.[26] compared efficacy of Aloe vera gel plus juice to intralesional injection of hydrocortisone and hyaluronidase. Both the groups showed positive results and therapeutic efficacy of both the groups was comparable.

 Conclusion



Aloe vera has a numerous unique properties which are of therapeutic benefit for various conditions. From the abovementioned studies, it is evident that Aloe vera has promising results for the treatment of OSMF. When combined with complete discontinuation of habit and other modalities such as physiotherapy, Aloe vera can provide excellent results.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

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