The healing effects of Euphorbia hirta (Tawa-tawa) on gingivitis

Zerline Mae B. Cachero | Dranren P. Carbonell | Rod-prudence C. Peralta Dayanara B. Torres | Hillary Mary S. Valdez
School of Dentistry
Dr. Joseph M. Acosta, Adviser


Gingivitis is a type of oral disease characterized by changes in contour, color, and consistency of the gums. Gingivitis is observed clinically from four to fourteen days after plaque biofilm accumulates in the gingival sulcus. “Tawa-tawa” (Euphorbia hirta) is very common all over the Philippines in the open fields and grasslands. Another addition to its long list of therapeutic uses discovered is its healing effects on gingivitis. The greatest effect on healing gingivitis is attributed to the presence of alkaloids, tannins, and flavonoids which have shown to have antibacterial properties. The extracts show to be non-cytotoxic and have effective anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agents inhibiting growths of bacteria and reducing inflammation of the gingiva. E. hirta also increases wound healing by augmenting the fibroblast proliferation and Smad-mediated collagen which help stop gingival bleeding and antioxidant properties that help improve the contour and texture of the gingiva. This study focused on the healing effects of “Tawa-Tawa” on plaque-induced gingivitis, which is the most common form of gingivitis. A gingival index was used in the pre-test and post-test of both control and experimental groups; the experimental group and control group were divided into two groups. Control group A and Experimental group A were given oral prophylaxis, while the Control group B and Experimental group B did not undergo oral prophylaxis. Experimental groups were prescribed with “Tawa-Tawa” extract and were given oral hygiene instructions while control groups were given oral hygiene instructions. Post-test was done after the intervention with the use of “Tawa-Tawa” extract. There is a significant difference in the pre-test and post-test results which indicates faster healing effect on the conditions of gingiva on Experimental Groups who used “Tawa-Tawa” extract as compared to the Control Groups.

Keywords: Healing Effects, Gingivitis, Tawa-Tawa, Gingival Index, Euphorbia hirta