It sounds more than a little rustic, and not particularly appealing, but researchers from Italy’s University of Verona have found that using a mouth rinse made from shiitake mushrooms may reduce gingivitis.
They did the study because an extract from mushrooms has been shown in laboratory experiments to control the growth of oral bacteria. Mushroom extracts also appear to kill oral bacteria and make it more difficult for the bacteria to stick to teeth.
The study involved 90 volunteers. All of them had their teeth professionally cleaned. For the following six days, they brushed regularly. Between days 7 and 17 of the study, people did not brush, but rinsed twice a day with one of three mouth rinses, made from either water, shiitake mushrooms, or a commercial mouth rinse.
After a couple of weeks, people rinsing with the mushroom rinse had significantly less plaque than those in the water-based rinse group did. Also people in the mushroom rinse group had significantly less gum inflammation than people in the group using the commercial mouth rinse or the water-based rinse group.
The researchers did not find that the mushroom rinse destroyed bacteria that commonly occur in dental plaque. The mushroom rinse did slow the growth of some bacteria responsible for the progression of gum disease to periodontal disease, however.
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