Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Propolis Helps Prevent Tooth Decay

Efficacy of red propolis hydro-alcoholic extract in controlling Streptococcus mutans biofilm build-up and dental enamel demineralization

Arch Oral Biol. 2018 May 23;93:56-65

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The efficacy of a red propolis hydro-alcoholic extract (RP) in controlling Streptococcus mutans biofilm colonization was evaluated. The effect of RP on dental demineralization was also investigated.


Chemical composition was determined by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Minimum Inhibitory and Bactericidal Concentration (MIC and MBC, respectively) were investigated against Streptococcus mutans (ATCC 25175). The cytotoxic potential of 3% RP in oral fibroblasts was observed after 1 and 3 min. Bovine dental enamel blocks (N = 24) were used for S. mutans biofilm formation (48 h), simulating 'feast or famine' episodes. Blocks/biofilms were exposed 2×/day, for 3 days, to a cariogenic challenge with sucrose 10% (5 min) and treated (1 min) with: 0.85% saline solution (negative control), 0.12% Chlorhexidine (CHX, positive control for biofilm colonization), 0.05% Sodium Fluoride (NaF, positive control to avoid demineralization) and 3% RP. Biofilms were assessed for viability (CFU/mL), and to observe the concentration of soluble and insoluble extracellular polysaccharides (SEPS and IEPS). Dental demineralization was assessed by the percentage of surface hardness loss (%SHL) and through polarized light microscopy (PLM).

The RP presented 4.0 pH and ºBrix = 4.8. The p-coumaric acid (17.2 μg/mL) and luteolin (15.23 μg/mL) were the largest contents of phenolic acids and flavonoids, respectively. MIC and MBC of RP were 293 μg/mL and 1172 μg/mL, respectively. The 3% RP showed 43% of viably cells after 1 min. Lower number (p < 0.05) of viable bacteria (CFU/mL) was observed after CHX (1.8 × 105) followed by RP (1.8 × 107) treatments. The lowest concentration (μg/CFU) of SEPS (12.6) and IEPS (25.9) was observed in CHX (p < 0.05) followed by RP (17.1 and 54.3), and both differed from the negative control (34.4 and 63.9) (p < 0.05). Considering the %SHL, all groups differed statistically (p < 0.05) from the negative control (46.6%); but NaF (13.9%), CHX (20.1%) and RP (20.7%) did not differ among them (p > 0.05). After all treatments, suggestive areas of caries lesions were observed by PLM, which were lower for CHX and NaF.


The 3% RP reduced S. mutans colonization, decreased concentration of extracellular polysaccharides and reduced dental enamel demineralization.

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