March 13, 2023
Fermentation of carbohydrates presents in a food by oral bacteria results in a decrease in the pH of plaque and demineralization of enamel and finally formation of dental caries. Streptococcus mutans (S.mutans) is considered to be the principal bacterium causing tooth decay in humans. Glucosyltransferases (GTFs) from Streptococcus mutans bacteria play critical roles in the development of virulent dental plaque (ferment carbohydrates that decrease pH of plaque leading to tooth enamel demineralization), which provides an ideal site for colonization by microorganisms and is involved in the development of dental cavities.
The use of medicinal plants or natural products has been one of the most successful strategies for the discovery of new medicines. It already been reported that plant extracts and their components have significant antibacterial activity on oral bacteria, especially on S.mutans. Phytochemical rich extracts and their associated compounds have repeatedly shown inhibitory effects against adhesion, plaque and biofilm formation of S.mutans. Laboratory research found that both clove and peppermint essential oils inhibit GTFs produced by S. mutans. There has been reports about the menthol present in peppermint essential oil and eugenol in clove essential oil and are considered as outstanding compounds exhibiting an antibacterial potential which could be responsible for S.mutans gtf inhibition. This suggests that using toothpastes with clove and peppermint essential oil may help reduce plaque and the risk of cavities. Therefore, essential oils may be suitable additives in pharmaceutical products.