Arunima Guru, Meenu Bhola, Gagandeep Singh
Background: The role of Streptococcus mutans as the causative agent of dental caries is well demonstrated and documented. Besides chlorhexidine being the widely used synthetic medicament, a natural antibiotic substance called propolis (bee glue) has attracted the attention of researchers due to its multiple pharmacological properties. This natural product is produced by honey bee and showed antibacterial activity against a range of commonly encountered Gram-positive microorganisms including Streptococcus mutans, preventing dental caries.
Aims and objectives: This study aimed to compare the efficacy of 5% propolis and 0.2% chlorhexidine mouthwashes in reducing Streptococcus mutans colony counts in saliva.
Materials and methods: Prerinse and 0.2% chlorhexidine mouthwash postrinse unstimulated salivary samples were collected from sixty subjects. The samples were then transferred to laboratory, using a transport medium, where they were cultured on trypticase soy yeast 20% sucrose bacitracin agar (TYS20B), a selective media for the growth of Streptococcus mutans. After one week, prerinse and 5% propolis mouthwash postrinse salivary samples were collected from the same subjects and were cultured in a similar manner. Each sample was serially diluted upto 1:104 dilutions with the help of automated pipettes. Streptococcus mutans colonies were identified by various tests and counted by the use of a digital colony counter.
Results: The reduction of Streptococcus mutans by both the mouthwashes was found to be statistically significant and compared. 0.2% chlorhexidine showed better results in reducing Streptococcus mutans colonies than 5% propolis, which individually showed a good efficacy against the culprit microorganism.
Conclusion: Chlorhexidine has statistically better anticariogenic efficacy in comparison to propolis against Streptococcus mutans in saliva. On the other hand, propolis itself showed a significant anticariogenic activity against the growth of Streptococcus mutans. It may be considered as an alternative natural mouthwash to enhance oral health with minimum side effects.
* THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.