Send to

Choose Destination
Braz Dent J. 2013;24(3):224-9. doi: 10.1590/0103-6440201302187.

Antibiofilm and antibacterial activities of farnesol and xylitol as potential endodontic irrigants.

Author information

Department of Endodontics and Molecular Microbiology Laboratory, Dental School, Estácio de Sá University, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.


This study investigated the antibiofilm and antibacterial effects of farnesol and xylitol in a series of experiments in order to evaluate their potential use as root canal irrigants. The following substances were tested: 0.2% farnesol; 5% and 20% xylitol; 0.2% farnesol plus 20% xylitol; and saline (control). For comparison with an established endodontic irrigant, 2.5% NaOCl was included in each test. Three experiments were conducted: the crystal violet assay, to evaluate the effects on the biofilm biomass; the dentin disinfection test, to evaluate the effects on bacterial viability in biofilms; and the root canal disinfection test, to simulate the use in the root canal environment. Farnesol was the most effective substance in reducing the biofilm biomass, followed by 20% xylitol. All substances affected bacterial viability in biofilms; farnesol showed the best results followed by the farnesol/xylitol combination. Irrigation with all substances significantly reduced the bacterial load (p<0.001), but only the farnesol/xylitol combination was significantly more effective than saline (p=0.02). NaOCl was more effective than any other substance tested in the three experiments (p<0.001). The findings demonstrated that farnesol affected both the biofilm biomass and the viability of cells in the biofilm, while 20% xylitol affected only the biofilm biomass. Although not more effective than NaOCl, the combination of these two antibiofilm substances has potential to be used in endodontics in certain situations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Scientific Electronic Library Online
Loading ...
Support Center