Oral health loss is one of the major problems existing all over the world and is one of the top causes of death when unmanaged. The oral cavity is home to numerous pathogenic microorganisms, some of which are responsible for the progression and development of various systemic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and myocardial infarction. Worldwide, 60–90% of school children and nearly 100% of adults have dental cavities, often leading to pain and discomfort. There are implications for the global economy as well, due to the continuous burden of investing resources to maintain oral hygiene. Not surprisingly, developing countries are disproportionally affected. There is thus an urgent need to develop economical solutions for the treatment of oral diseases. The trend of exploring plants or plant-derived compounds for the prevention and cure of death-causing diseases is on the rise. The use of traditional medicine for oral diseases is an ancient practice in which medicinal herbs play a major role. Medicinal plants have minimal side effects and no denigrating properties. Accordingly the use of medicinal plants to curtail oral pathogens has been reported by a number of studies.
The present book updates the issues related to oral health, oral diseases and the role of medicinal plants in overcoming orally-derived health problems. We also highlight the knowledge gaps in oral health related problems with medicinal plants as one of the solutions. Our ultimate goal is to encourage future research and application of medicinal plants for economical and efficient treatment of oral diseases.