Effectiveness of licorice in preventing dental caries in children. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Effectiveness of licorice in preventing dental caries in children: A systematic review.
J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent. 2020 Oct-Dec;38(4):325-331. PMID: 33402612
Ann Polachirakal Tharakan
Background: Dental caries is one of the most prevailing oral health diseases in children. Recent times have focused on herbal products, because they have minimum or no side effects and are effective in prevention. Licorice is one such product belonging to Glycyrrhiza family used in the form of dentifrice, chewing gums, lollipop, gels, etc., Literature reports about the activity of licorice root extract on the biofilm thereby reducing Streptococcus mutans (SM) count and preventing dental caries in children.
Objectives: The objective is to assess the effectiveness of licorice in reducing SM count and preventing dental caries in children.
Methodology: PubMed and Google scholar were searched with search strategies for studies reporting licorice as intervention in children among 3-15 years for preventing dental caries. Only those studies with study design of randomized controlled trials, clinical trials, and comparative studies published between January 1, 2000, and October 31, 2019 were included. Cross references and hand searching for the relevant articles were also conducted.
Results: A preliminary search yielded a total of 31 studies through PubMed and Google scholar. From 31 studies, nine studies were excluded based on the screening through titles. From the remaining 22 articles, six duplicates, four without parameters, six as reviews and case reports and were excluded. Finally, six articles giving ten estimates were included for qualitative synthesis.
Conclusion: Licorice extracts proves to be effective as an antimicrobial agent by reducing the count of SM in children. Its action on biofilm limits the fall of pH thereby preventing acidic environment that increases the risk of dental caries. Moreover, licorice in lollipop form is well accepted by children.