Herbal supplement use among adult dental patients in a USA dental school clinic: prevalence, patient demographics, and clinical implications.

Oral surgery, oral medicine, oral pathology, oral radiology, and endodontics

PubMedID: 21215667

Abebe W, Herman W, Konzelman J. Herbal supplement use among adult dental patients in a USA dental school clinic: prevalence, patient demographics, and clinical implications. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 2011;111(3):320-5.
OBJECTIVE
This study assessed the frequency and patterns of utilization of herbal supplement products by adult dental patients at a USA dental school clinic.

STUDY DESIGN
A self-reporting questionnaire was used to collect patient demographics and frequency of herbal supplement utilization along with other information. The questionnaire was distributed and collected at a dental visit. Herbal utilization was related to patient demographics using descriptive analysis. The clinical implications of the findings are discussed.

RESULTS
Out of 1,240 questionnaires, 1,119 were returned as completed. Of these, 12.6% reported using =1 of 21 herbal products. The majority of the users were middle-aged educated caucasian women. Green tea, garlic, echinacea, ginkgo biloba, and ginseng were the top 5 products used. Mostly, supplements were consumed in combination with drugs.

CONCLUSIONS
The type, prevalence, and frequency of herbal supplement utilization by adult dental patients in this USA dental clinic were generally similar to those reported for other population groups. This observation, coupled with the documented effects of the commonly used herbal products, should alert dental health caregivers to inquire about herbal supplement use when evaluating or treating their patients.