Introduction: Dental caries and periodontal diseases are the most common oral diseases seen globally, both in developed and developing countries. Oral microorganisms that is gram positive and gram negative bacteria are known to be involved in causation of these diseases. Nowadays commercially available dentrifices and mouth rinses are known to contain ingredients that can alter the oral microbial flora and have undesirable side effects such as vomiting, diarrhoea, disarrangement of oral, intestinal flora and tooth staining. Naturally available plant products are known to be less harmful with fewer side effects and also economical for the patient.
Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the antimicrobial properties of 10 naturally available plant products against oral microorganisms causing caries and to check the efficacy of these products in-vitro and to use these in mouth washes and dentrifices.
Materials and methods: Sample of caries material was scrapped out from the extracted teeth and transferred to liquid broth, streaked over the agar media to allow for the growth of microorganisms. Plant products like clove oil, neem, ginger-garlic paste, tea tree oil, ginger, garlic, cinnamon oil, green tea, eucalyptus oil and turmeric were used. Antimicrobial efficacy of these products, was estimated by measuring zones of inhibition in the nutrient agar media.
Results: Clove oil was the most effective of all products against microorganisms causing caries with zone of inhibition - 30mm followed by ginger-garlic paste - 25mm, Neem - 15mm, tea tree oil - 15mm.
Conclusion: Based on the above results, it can be inferred that these natural products have the maximum efficacy against microorganisms and can be recommended in dentifrices, mouth rinses, topical gels, etc.
Keywords: Antimicrobial activity; Medicinal plants; Phytochemical activity; Streptococcus mutans.