Comparative evaluation of antifungal action of tea tree oil, chlorhexidine gluconate and fluconazole on heat polymerized acrylic denture base resin - an in vitro study

Gerodontology. 2016 Sep;33(3):402-9. doi: 10.1111/ger.12176. Epub 2014 Dec 19.


Objective: Candida albicans-associated denture stomatitis is the most common type of denture stomatitis seen in denture wearers. This study evaluates and compares the antifungal action of fluconazole, chlorhexidine gluconate and tea tree oil on heat-polymerised denture base resin, which has been previously contaminated with C. albicans grown in BHI broth.

Material and methods: Seventy-five specimens were immersed in BHI broth previously inoculated with C. albicans and stored for 3 h at 37°C. They were divided into five groups (n = 15): G1: 2% chlorhexidine solution; G2: 100% pure pharmaceutical grade tea tree oil; G3: 65 μg/ml fluconazole solution; C1: specimens not disinfected; C2: specimens not contaminated with Candida. Each specimen was then transferred to individual tubes containing BHI broth and incubated for 24 h. Culture media turbidity was evaluated for absorbance over a period of 14 days using a microplate reader. It was observed that the lower the absorbance, the stronger the antimicrobial action. Statistical analysis was performed (two-way anova and Bonferroni test, p < 0.001).

Results: Chlorhexidine and tea tree oil inhibited Candida up to the 14th day, whereas antifungal effect of fluconazole was not significant after the 7th day.

Conclusion: Tea tree oil and chlorhexidine gluconate are more effective than fluconazole in inhibiting C. albicans growth on heat-polymerised acrylic resin.

Keywords: Melaleuca alternifolia; Tea tree oil; denture cleansers; denture stomatitis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acrylic Resins
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / pharmacology
  • Candida albicans / drug effects*
  • Chlorhexidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Chlorhexidine / pharmacology
  • Denture Bases / microbiology*
  • Fluconazole / pharmacology*
  • Tea Tree Oil / pharmacology*


  • Acrylic Resins
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Fluconazole
  • chlorhexidine gluconate
  • Chlorhexidine