Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Utilization of Chinese Herbal Medicine for Selected Oral Conditions in Two Pediatric Populations


Dai MR1, Ho DK2, Huang L3, Quock RL4, Flaitz CM5.

Author information

  • 1Pediatric dentist in private practice, Spring, Texas, USA.
  • 2Department of Periodontics and Dental Hygiene, University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston, Houston, Texas, USA.
  • 3South Cove Community Health Center, Boston, Mass., USA.
  • 4Department of Restorative Dentistry and Prosthodontics, University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston, Houston, Texas, USA.
  • 5Division of Pediatric Dentistry, The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, USA.



To characterize traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) use, emphasizing herbal remedies, for oral conditions among two Chinese pediatric populations in the United States.


318 unique ethnic Chinese parental units in Houston and Boston with children younger than 12 years old were interviewed for themselves and their children. Questionnaire included age, gender, duration in the United States, frequency of TCM use, and the five selected oral conditions for which TCM agents might be used.


Parents (45.6 percent) and children (19.1 percent) used TCM for oral conditions, most commonly for aphthous ulcers (64.2 percent). Most commonly used TCM agents included watermelon frost (37.4 percent), niuhuang jiedu pian (15.5 percent), and honey/propolis (9.9 percent). Chi-square tests with logistic regression (P<0.05) showed duration of U.S. residency significantly affected (P=0.002), parental TCM usage, age group (P=0.003), and birth location (P=0.02) related to child use. Parental TCM use increased child likelihood of use (P<0.0001).


In this study, traditional Chinese medicine was widely used for oral conditions by Chinese immigrants. Factors such as duration of U.S. residency, age, birth location, and parental use affect utilization of TCM in this population. Future studies are needed to explore the therapeutic properties of the various components of TCM.