Inhibitory effect of Aralia continentalis on the cariogenic properties of Streptococcus mutans.
ABSTRACT Aralia continentalis has been used in traditional Korean medicine for dental diseases such as toothache, dental caries, periodontal disease and gingivitis, and also has been used for neuralgia, analgesia, sweating, and as an antirheumatic.
The present study was designed to investigate the inhibitory effect of Aralia continentalis extract on cariogenic properties of Streptococcus mutans, which is one of the most important bacteria in the formation of dental caries and dental plaque.
The inhibitory effects of Aralia continentalis extract on the growth, acid production, water-insoluble glucan synthesis, and adhesion were investigated in Streptococcus mutans. The biofilm formation of Streptococcus mutans was determined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and safranin staining.
The ethanol extract of Aralia continentalis showed concentration dependent inhibitory activity on the growth of Streptococcus mutans and significant inhibition of acid production at the concentrations of 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2 and 4 mg/ml compared to the control group. The synthesis of water-insoluble glucan by glucosyltransferase (GTFase) was decreased in the presence of 0.5-4 mg/ml of the extract of Aralia continentalis. The extract markedly inhibited Streptococcus mutans adherence to saliva-coated hydroxyapatite beads (S-HAs). The extract of Aralia continentalis has an inhibitory effect on the formation of Streptococcus mutans biofilms at the concentrations higher than 2mg/ml.
These results suggest that Aralia continentalis may inhibit cariogenic properties of Streptococcus mutans, and also may support the scientific rationale that native inhabitants used the extract for the treatment of dental diseases.