Ginger, the rhizome of Zingiber officinale, has long been used as an herbal remedy. In traditional Chinese and Indian medicine, ginger is used to treat various diseases including abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, asthma, respiratory disorders, dental pain, gingivitis, and arthritis.1
Numerous studies have shown an interest in the use of ginger for the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions, one of which is toothache. This interest can be traced to the discovery in the early 1970s that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have an effect by inhibiting prostaglandin (PG) biosynthesis. Soon after, ginger turns out to have constituent elements that also inhibit PG synthesis. These findings provide a reasonable scientific rationale for their anti-inflammatory effects
Subsequent studies revealed that some ginger constituents have pharmacological properties similar to the newest class of NSAIDs that work double. Compounds in this class may inhibit arachidonic acid metabolism through the pathway of cyclooxygenase (COX) and lipoxygenase (LOX) and have fewer side effects than conventional NSAIDs.
Various animal studies have shown that oral or ginger extract prescribed orally may reduce acute inflammation.3,4,5,6 Some clinical studies support the use of ginger for the treatment of osteoarthritis, and in some cases significant knee pain is reported. In some trials, it turns out ginger reduces pain and swelling with varying levels in patients with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and muscle pain without serious side effects even after prolonged use. 1,7,8
In a study conducted by Rayati, et al. 9 post-odontectomy pain is used because it is a widely used, validated, and highly acute pain type and is the most appropriate model for investigating the onset of analgesic action.10 This model is widely accepted and has a test sensitivity record which is proven. Therefore, post-odontectomy tooth pain is often used as a major clinical pain model for investigation of analgesic drugs.11
The most common post-odontectomy complications are pain, tismus and swelling, where COX and PG play an important role in the process. The efficacy of ibuprofen in the treatment of post-odontectomy pain has been demonstrated in several clinical trials. However, NSAIDs are contraindicated in patients with gastrointestinal ulceration, bleeding disorders, and renal dysfunction.11,12,13,14 Therefore, effective analgesics with better safety profiles are required.
In Rayati's study, et al.9 regarding the COX and LOX double-inhibitory reactions of ginger, we tried to assess the ability of ginger to control postoperative complications of this acute pain model. All patients experienced the greatest pain level on the day of surgery with a peak of 4 hours after surgery. On the day of surgery and postoperative days, ginger is as effective as ibuprofen in reducing the intensity of postoperative pain.9
Ibuprofen is the most commonly used drug for pain relief after surgery in dentistry. In the previous study, ibuprofen was no higher than placebo in reducing postoperative swelling but was significantly effective in relieving pain on the day of surgery.12 While in the current study no significant difference between ibuprofen and ginger in treating postoperative complications. These results suggest that ginger is almost as effective as ibuprofen in reducing post-odontectomy complications.9