Aloe vera in the treatment for oral submucous fibrosis – a preliminary study


Ramachandran Sudarshan, MDS, Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Sibar Institute of Dental Sciences, Guntur-522509, India. Tel: + 07416433735, Fax: + 91-863-2292139, E-mail:


J Oral Pathol Med (2012) 41: 755–761

Background and objectives:  Oral submucous fibrosis (OSMF) is a potentially malignant disorder of the oral mucosa, mainly associated with the practice of chewing gutka and betel quid. The pathogenesis is obscure, and till date, no definitive therapy is available for the management of OSMF. Hence, this preliminary study was carried out to compare the efficacy of Aloe vera with antioxidants in the treatment for OSMF.

Methods:  Twenty study subjects with OSMF were included in the study. Patients were divided into two groups. There were 10 patients in each group; group A subjects received 5 mg of aloe vera gel to be applied topically three times daily for 3 months and group B subjects received antioxidant capsules twice daily for 3 months. The results were analyzed with paired ‘t’ test and unpaired ‘t’ test.

Results:  Aloe vera responded better in all the parameters assessed and responded in all the clinicohistopathological stages particularly in those with mild-stage clinically and early-stage histopathologically. Aloe vera showed a statistically significant reduction in burning sensation (P = 0.008), improvement in mouth opening (P = 0.02), and cheek flexibility (P = 0.01) on comparing with the antioxidant group.

Interpretation and conclusion:  Overall assessment of the parameters depicted that Aloe vera group showed a better treatment response compared to the antioxidants group. It reduces the burning sensation and improves mouth opening thereby enhanced the patients’ compliance. It proves to be a relatively safe, can be applied topically, easily available, economical, noninvasive, and efficacious in the treatment for OSMF.