[Antimicrobial effects of tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) on oral microorganisms]

Schweiz Monatsschr Zahnmed. 2000;110(11):125-30.
[Article in German]


The essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree oil) exhibits antimicrobial activity against a wide range of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, yeasts and fungi. In this study the bacteriostatic and bacteriocidal/fungicidal activity of a tea tree oil solution, of a new tea tree oil (Tebodont) and the respective placebo-gel, of a chlorhexidindigluconate-solution and of PlakOut was tested in vitro against ten different oral microorganisms. Minimum inhibitory concentrations were in the range from 0.0293% to 1.25% for the tea tree oil solution and from 0.0082% to 1.25% for the tea tree oil gel. The values for minimum bacteriocidal/fungicidal concentrations were in the range from 0.0521% to 2.5% for the tea tree oil solution and from <0.0098% to 3.33% for the tea tree oil gel. The most susceptible microorganisms were Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, Fusobacterium nucleatum, and Porphyromonas gingivalis, whereas Streptococcus mutans and Prevotella intermedia were the least susceptible ones. Both for the chlorhexidindigluconate solution and for PlakOut the values for the minimal inhibitory concentration and for the minimal cidal concentration were between <0.0002% and 0.0125%.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria / drug effects
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Candida albicans / drug effects
  • Candida albicans / isolation & purification
  • Chlorhexidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Chlorhexidine / pharmacology*
  • Dentifrices*
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Mouth / microbiology*
  • Mouthwashes*
  • Tea Tree Oil / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Dentifrices
  • Mouthwashes
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • chlorhexidine gluconate
  • Chlorhexidine