Role of propolis in dentistry: review of the literature

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Abstract

Background

Propolis (also called bee glue) is a resinous substance derived from bees. It has long been used in medicine for its beneficial properties, including antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic and local anaesthetic effects. In dentistry, propolis has been used for the prevention of dental caries and periodontal diseases, as an interim transport medium for avulsed teeth, and in endodontics, orthodontics and periodontics.

Objective

To highlight the role of propolis in dentistry.

Methods

A PubMed search was made using the keywords propolis, beeglue, antimicrobial, dental and herbs without any limits on the date of publication. No specific inclusion or exclusion criteria were applied as the purpose of the review was to make it as comprehensive as possible.

Discussion

The role of propolis is discussed in various branches of dentistry, including: preventive dentistry, dental traumatology, endodontics, periodontology, orthodontics and oral oncology.

Conclusion

Although most research published in the dental literature on propolis is based on in-vitro studies or animal studies, extrapolating the results of these present studies to clinical practice may be too early as these results may not be necessarily replicated in human trials. In future, propolis may find a definitive role in one or more applications in dentistry; however, clinical trials are necessary to isolate the individual components responsible for its beneficial effects and to study them.

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