Traditional Chinese medicine and oral diseases: today and tomorrow


Prof. Lim Kwong Cheung, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, The Prince Philip Dental Hospital, 34 Hospital Road, Hong Kong SAR, China. Tel: 852 28590262, Fax: 852 28575570, E-mail:; Prof. H. Hua, Department of Oral Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine, Peking University, School and Hospital of Stomatology, 22 Zhongguancun Nandajie, Beijing, 100081, China. Tel: 86-10-62179977 ext 5349, Fax: 86-10-62173402, E-mail:


Oral Diseases (2010) 17, 7–12

With a history of over 2000 years, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) evolves into a unique system of diagnosing and treating illnesses. It is a challenge to convey the fundamentals of this traditional medicine to our Western colleagues because of the differences in language, philosophy and concept of diagnosis and treatment. This review attempts to tackle these barriers by introducing several widely used Chinese medicines for treating oral diseases. China Journals Full-text Database and Pubmed were used as the searching engines. Although many studies have demonstrated that the Chinese medicines are effective in treating oral diseases including recurrent aphthous stomatitis, oral lichen planus, leukoplakia, and Sjögren’s syndrome, most of them lacked standard criteria of post-treatment assessment and laboratory evidence. Randomized controlled clinical trials with specific assessment criteria are required to close the gap between TCM and evidenced-based medicine.