Involvement of ayurvedic practitioners in oral health care in the United States

Bhupinder S. Brar, Robert G. Norman, Ananda P. Dasanayake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background. Ayurveda, an ancient medical science originating in India, also is practiced in the United States. The authors conducted a study primarily to explore the involvement of ayurvedic practitioners in treating oral diseases. Methods. Eighty-five practitioners participated in this cross-sectional survey. The authors obtained self-reported data on demographics of the practitioners, the general and oral health conditions they treated, and the treatment modalities used. They performed descriptive statistical and logistic regression analyses by using statistical software. Results. Participants predominantly were female and white or non-Hispanic, as well as part-time practitioners. Their educational backgrounds ranged from a 5%-year bachelor's degree in ayurveda to short-term training. Of the 60 respondents who answered the question about treating oral diseases, 25 (42 percent) reported that they did so. Conditions treated were related to oral malodor, gingival or periodontal disease and toothache. Ayurvedic treatments administered for these conditions primarily were preventive in nature. Conclusions. Ayurvedic practitioners in the United States treat a variety of oral diseases by using predominantly preventive traditional care. Ayurvedic practitioners of Asian origin and those who practiced for a longer duration were more likely to report that they treated oral diseases. Larger, population-based studies are needed to understand more fully the current role of ayurvedic practitioners in oral health care. Ayurvedic treatment modalities aimed at oral diseases need to be evaluated through rigorous randomized controlled trials for safety and effectiveness. Practice Implications. Patients with limited or no access to oral health care might seek ayurvedic treatment, and those who have access to conventional oral health care might wish to complement it with ayurvedic treatment. Practitioners can incorporate preventive ayurvedic treatments, which are based mainly on natural products, into overall preventive care regimens, if proven safe and effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1120-1126
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Dental Association
Volume143
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2012

Keywords

  • A.y.urveda.
  • A.y.urvedic.
  • Alternative medicine
  • Complementary m.e.dicine.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)

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