Objective: The aim was to evaluate the antibacterial effect of ozone on cariogenic bacterial species with and without the presence of saliva and a possible effect on the salivary proteins.
Methods: Suspensions of Actinomyces naeslundii (ACTCC 12104(T)), Lactobacilli casei (N CTC 151) and Streptococcus mutans (NCTC 10449), in salt buffer or in saliva, were exposed to ozone gas delivered by the ozone generator Healozone 2130C. Aliquots of the suspensions were taken after 10, 30 and 60s ozone exposures and cultivated on agar plates. Initial number of bacteria per ml was 8.0 x 10(7) (SD 2.2 x 10(7)) (A. naeslundii), 1.0 x 10(8) (SD 3.1 x 10(6)) (L. casei) and 1.0 x 10(8) (SD 7.0 x 10(5)) (S. mutans), respectively. The proteins were separated by SDS electrophoresis and visualized by silver staining.
Results: In salt buffer 92%, 73% and 64% of the initial numbers of A. naeslundii, S. mutans and L. casei, respectively, were killed already after 10s ozone exposure, while approximately 99.9% of the bacteria were dead after a 60s exposure. After 10 and 30s, but not after 60s exposure to ozone, S. mutans and L. casei were less efficiently killed in saliva compared to the salt buffer. Various saliva proteins were degraded by ozone after a 60s exposure.
Conclusions: The cariogenic species S. mutans, L. casei and A. naeslundii were almost eliminated following 60s of ozone treatment. This killing was reduced in the presence of saliva although increasing the ozone application time to 60s overcame these reductants in saliva. Detection of altered salivary proteins indicates that saliva components constitute additional targets for ozone.