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Indian J Dent Res. 1999 Jan-Mar;10(1):23-6.

The antimicrobial effects of extracts of Azadirachta indica (Neem) and Salvadora persica (Arak) chewing sticks.

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Department of Preventive Dental Sciences, College of Dentistry, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


Chewing sticks (Miswak) is most commonly used int he Middle East and Indian Subcontinent Salvadora persica (Arak) and Azadirachta indica (Neem) are commonly used as oral hygiene tools in different parts of the world, Several studies have demonstrated the anti-plaque anticarious and antibacterial effect of these sticks. The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of antimicrobial activity of Neem and Arak chewing stick's aqueous extracts at various concentrations. The microbial inhibition was measured using blood agar and ditch plate method up to 48 hous. The pH of Neem extract was 6.1 and of Arak was 4.9 Data suggested that both chewing stick extracts are effective at 50% concentration on strept mutans and Strept faecalis. Arak extract was more effective at lower concentrations for Strept faecalis. The effect may be due to the difference of their chemical composition and variability in their PH. Further research is needed to extrapolate other plants used for oral hygiene. Chewing sticks are recommended as oral hygiene tools for health promotion in developing countries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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