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A Review on Antimicrobial Activity of Vegetables, Herbs and Spices Against Cariogenic Bacteria


Dental caries is one of the most prevalent oral diseases. It is observed in the sexes, all races, all socioeconomic classes and all age groups. Dental caries is a process where the enamel and the dentine are demineralized by the products of bacterial fermentation. Restorative or pulp therapy is involved in the treatment of dental caries. This therapy is not only expensive but also painful. So, proper application of preventive methods right from childhood can reduce incidence of dental caries. The most common methods for maintaining good oral hygiene are brushing and washing the mouth with tooth pastes and mouthwashes that have antimicrobial properties and can prevent the degradation of tooth enamel. Commercially available dentifrices contain chemical agents, which are known to produce harmful side effects on prolonged use. Hence, dentifrices that contain extracts of medicinal plants and herbs are becoming popular. Since ancient times medicinal plants have been employed for prophylactic and curative purposes. Many reports of the researchers have revealed the antimicrobial nature of vegetables and spices against Streptococcus mutans, which is known to be the main cause of dental caries. The present article provides an account of the antimicrobial activities of a few vegetables, herbs and spices against cariogenic bacteria.

Anitha L* and Sunita Raju K

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