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Contemp Clin Dent. 2012 Jul;3(3):302-5. doi: 10.4103/0976-237X.103623.

In vitro antimicrobial activity of mouth washes and herbal products against dental biofilm-forming bacteria.

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Department of Community Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Federal University of Paraíba, João Pessoa, Brazil.



To evaluate in vitro, the antimicrobial effect of Cymbopogon citrates (lemon grass), Plectranthusamboinicus (Mexican mint) and Conyzabonariensis (hairy fleabane) tinctures as well as pure and diluted commercial mouth washes (Malvatricin(®), Periogard(®) and Listerine(®)) on wild isolates of Streptococcusmutans and reference strains of S. mutans, Streptococcus salivarius, Streptococcus oralis and Lactobacillus casei by determination of minimum inhibitory dilution (MID).


0.12% chlorhexidine and 70% corn alcohol were used as positive and negative controls, respectively. Saliva samples were collected from 3 volunteers and seeded in MSB broth to obtain Streptococcus isolates after 72-hour incubation. Using the agar diffusion method, susceptibility tests were performed with overnight incubation in microaerophilia at 37°C. All tests were performed in duplicate.


The bacterial species were resistant to the tinctures and Listerine(®), but were susceptible to 0.12% chlorhexidine, Malvatricin(®) and Periogard(®), with MIDs ranging from 12.5% to 1.56%.


Plectrantusamboinicus, Conyzabonariensis and Cymbopongoncitratus tinctures and Listerine(®) did not show inhibitory action against the tested biofilm-forming bacteria.


Dental plaque; mouthwashes; phytotherapy; plant extracts

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