A systematic review concludes that polyphenols have great potential as antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory substances in the treatment and prevention of periodontal disease. The systematic review, which was published in the journal Fitoterapia, aimed to review the scientific literature on the effects of plant-derived polyphenols on periodontal pathogens and inflammation.
Researchers from China and Germany gathered a total of 38 scientific literature on polyphenols with antimicrobial and immunomodulatory characteristics and their effects on oral health.
Polyphenols are natural products that are primarily produced by higher plants as secondary metabolites with different functions, such as health defense, growth regulation, and plant color.
Twenty-three of these studies focused on the immunomodulatory effects of polyphenols, while 18 reported polyphenols' antibacterial effects against periodontal pathogens. Three studies included both the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects of polyphenols.
The antibacterial effects were characterized by suppression of bacterial growth, adhesion to oral cells, and enzymatic activity.
Based on the evidence they gathered, polyphenols caused a decreased secretion of pro-inflammatory and increased secretion of anti-inflammatory cytokines.
In vivo studies also showed that polyphenols exhibited their antibacterial effects by causing higher attachment levels to oral cells and lower inflammation and bone loss.
These results suggest that polyphenols inhibit oral bacteria activities and reduce inflammation.
In conclusion, the findings indicate that plant-derived polyphenols have powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects against periodontal pathogens, which are important in the prevention and treatment of periodontal disease.
Bunte K, Hensel A, Beikler T. POLYPHENOLS IN THE PREVENTION AND TREATMENT OF PERIODONTAL DISEASE: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW OF IN VIVO, EX VIVO AND IN VITRO STUDIES. Fitoterapia. January 2019; 132: 30-39. DOI: 10.1016/j.fitote.2018.11.012