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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2012, Article ID 510198, 12 pages
Research Article

Evaluation of Plant and Fungal Extracts for Their Potential Antigingivitis and Anticaries Activity

1Department of Microbial Diseases, UCL Eastman Dental Institute, 256 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X 8LD, UK
2Department of Drug Sciences, School of Pharmacy, University of Pavia, Via Taramelli 12, 27100 Pavia, Italy
3DIPTERIS, University of Genoa, Corso Europa 26, 16132 Genoa, Italy
4Dipartimento di Patologia-Sezione di Microbiologia, Università di Verona, 37134 Verona, Italy
5Department of Prosthodontics, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Hebrew University-Hadassah, 91120 Jerusalem, Israel
6Biofilm Research Laboratory, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Hebrew University-Hadassah, 91120 Jerusalem, Israel
7Department of Cariology, Institute of Odontology, The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, 40530 Gothenburg, Sweden
8Department of Preventive Dentistry, Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA), University of Amsterdam and Free University Amsterdam, Gustav Mahlerlaan 3004, 1081 LA Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Received 9 August 2011; Revised 7 November 2011; Accepted 10 November 2011

Academic Editor: Itzhak Ofek

Copyright © 2012 D. A. Spratt et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The link between diet and health has lead to the promotion of functional foods which can enhance health. In this study, the oral health benefits of a number of food homogenates and high molecular mass and low molecular mass fractions were investigated. A comprehensive range of assays were performed to assess the action of these foods on the development of gingivitis and caries using bacterial species associated with these diseases. Both antigingivitis and anticaries effects were investigated by assays examining the prevention of biofilm formation and coaggregation, disruption of preexisting biofilms, and the foods' antibacterial effects. Assays investigating interactions with gingival epithelial cells and cytokine production were carried out to assess the foods' anti- gingivitis properties. Anti-caries properties such as interactions with hydroxyapatite, disruption of signal transduction, and the inhibition of acid production were investigated. The mushroom and chicory homogenates and low molecular mass fractions show promise as anti-caries and anti-gingivitis agents, and further testing and clinical trials will need to be performed to evaluate their true effectiveness in humans.