Inhibition and killing of oral bacteria by silver ions generated with low intensity direct current

J Dent Res. 1978 Sep-Oct;57(9-10):922-6. doi: 10.1177/00220345780570091901.


Silver cations generated by passing low intensity direct current through pure silver electrodes were found to be sufficiently antibacterial to cause sterilization of samples of infected dentin. The optimal procedure involved a 5 microA current applied for 20 minutes with the anode then left in contact with the sample. Minimal inhibitory concentrations of electrically generated silver ions for representative oral bacteria were essentially equal to those for silver ions added as nitrate or fluoride salts, and medium constituents, including sodium thioglycolate, antagonized antibacterial action. A major advantage to the use of the electrode method is that it allows for continuous, focal application of antibacterial silver cations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / cytology
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Culture Media
  • Dental Caries / microbiology
  • Dentin / microbiology
  • Electrochemistry*
  • Fluorides / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Mouth / microbiology*
  • Silver / pharmacology*
  • Silver Nitrate / pharmacology
  • Streptococcus mutans / drug effects
  • Thioglycolates / pharmacology


  • Culture Media
  • Thioglycolates
  • Silver
  • Silver Nitrate
  • Fluorides