Laboratory Comparison of the Anti-Bacterial Effects of Spearmint Extract and Hypochlorite Sodium on Enterococcus Faecalis Bacteria

J Dent Biomater. 2016 Dec;3(4):322-326.


Statement of problem: It is necessary to use irrigation solutions during cleaning and shaping of root canals to efficiently reduce the number of micro organisms. Sodium hypochlorite is used as an effective antibacterial endodontic irrigants. However, the extract of pennyroyal plant has also shown anti-bacterial characteristics comparable with antibacterial drugs.

Objectives: To compare the anti-bacterial effect of spearmint extract on Enterococcus faecalis bacteria with that of sodium hypochlorite 5.25%.

Materials and methods: In this experimental study, Muller Hinton medium, including 5% sheep blood was prepared. The two solutions used including sodium hypochlorite 5.25% and spearmint extracts were put adjacent to Enterococcus faecalis bacteria after preparing. Two groups, each containing 10 samples, with the total of 20 samples were used. The disks, including each solution were placed 2 cm apart on a plate containing Muller Hinton medium and the bacteria. The plate was subsequently incubated at 37°C for 48 hours. After incubation, the mean diameter of the halo around each disk, which represents the lack of bacterial growth, was measured and compared using a ruler. Penicillin disk was used for positive control and a sterile blank disk containing physiologic serum was utilized as the negative control. This process was repeated 10 times for each solution. Data were analyzed in SPSS 17 statistical software using t-test.

Results: The results showed that the mean diameter of halo in the spearmint extract group was zero and in the sodium hypochlorite group it was 23.7 ± 1.49 mm. There was a significant difference between the mean diameter of the lack of growth halo of the spearmint extract and that of hypochlorite sodium 5.25% on Enterococcus faecalis bacteria (p ≤ 0.001).

Conclusions: Considering the limitations of an experimental study, it seems that spearmint extract does not have any anti-bacterial effect against Enterococcus faecalis bacteria, in contrast to hypochlorite sodium 5.25%.

Keywords: Enterococcus faecalis; Hypochlorite Sodium; Root Canal Irrigation; Spearmint Extract.