Effect of pomegranate extract (Punica granatum) on cariogenic bacteria

in vitro and in vivo study


  • João Antônio Argenta Centro Universitário de Lavras
  • Moacir Pasqual Universidade Federal de Lavras
  • Cássio Vicente Pereira Centro Universitário de Lavras
  • Disney Ribeiro Dias Universidade Federal de Lavras
  • Ricardo Augusto Barbosa Centro Universitário de Lavras
  • Luciano José Pereira Universidade Federal de Lavras




Products with antimicrobial action, Punica granatum, Biofilms, Dentifrices, Streptococcus mutans, Dental caries


Aim: The present study aimed to evaluate both the inhibitory effect of plant extracts on Streptococcus mutans in vitro as well as the inhibitory potential of toothpastes containing an extract with a high level impact on both mutans streptococci and biofilm indexes in vivo.

Materials and Methods: Ethanolic extracts from 32 plants were deposited in a culture medium inoculated with S. mutans (ATCC25175). After this process, the inhibition halos for all tested extracts were measured. The inhibition capacities were: Ocimum gratissimum (flower), 08 mm; Moringa oleífera (leaf), 10 mm; Copaífera langsdorffi (leaf), 16 mm; and Punica granatum (dehydrated pericarp), 18 mm. Since the Punica granatum extract presented the greatest inhibitory halo, it was used in the next stage. The pomegranate extract (Punica granatum) was added to toothpastes at 1% and 3% concentrations after having determined the minimum inhibitory concentration. These two concentrations were tested in vivo in 30 volunteers, divided into 3 groups (one for each extract and one control group). The volunteers used the toothpastes for eight days. The antibacterial activity was evaluated by determining the biofilm index and by quantifying the mutans streptococci colonies (UFC/ml).

Results: A reduction (p<0.05) in the biofilm index could be observed when the toothpaste containing the pomegranate extract at 3% was used. However, no difference in the microbiological count after the tested period could be identified.

Conclusions: It can therefore be concluded that the Punica granatum L. extract showed the highest in vitro inhibitory activity against S. mutans. The toothpaste formulation showed efficiency after eight days of use, significantly decreasing the biofilm rate, but with no reduction in the number of mutans streptococci.


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How to Cite

Argenta, J. A., Pasqual, M., Pereira, C. V., Dias, D. R., Barbosa, R. A., & Pereira, L. J. (2016). Effect of pomegranate extract (Punica granatum) on cariogenic bacteria: in vitro and in vivo study. Arquivos Em Odontologia, 48(4). https://doi.org/10.7308/aodontol/2012.48.4.03




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