Antimicrobial efficacy of five essential oils against oral pathogens: An in vitro study

Eur J Dent. 2013 Sep;7(Suppl 1):S071-S077. doi: 10.4103/1305-7456.119078.


Objectives: This study was aimed to find out the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of five essential oils against oral pathogens and to find out the minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) and minimum fungicidal concentration (MFC) of five essential oils against oral pathogens.

Materials and methods: The antimicrobial activities by detecting MIC and MBC/MFC of five essential oils such as tea tree oil, lavender oil, thyme oil, peppermint oil and eugenol oil were evaluated against four common oral pathogens by broth dilution method. The strains used for the study were Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923, Enterococcus fecalis ATCC 29212, Escherichia coli ATCC 25922 and Candida albicans ATCC 90028.

Results: Out of five essential oils, eugenol oil, peppermint oil, tea tree oil exhibited significant inhibitory effect with mean MIC of 0.62 ± 0.45, 9.00 ± 15.34, 17.12 ± 31.25 subsequently. Mean MBC/MFC for tea tree oil was 17.12 ± 31.25, for lavender oil 151.00 ± 241.82, for thyme oil 22.00 ± 12.00, for peppermint oil 9.75 ± 14.88 and for eugenol oil 0.62 ± 0.45. E. fecalis exhibited low degree of sensitivity compared with all essential oils.

Conclusion: Peppermint, tea tree and thyme oil can act as an effective intracanal antiseptic solution against oral pathogens.

Keywords: Antimicrobial activity; essential oils; oral pathogens.