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International Journal of Dentistry
Volume 2017, Article ID 9874535, 8 pages
Research Article

Periodontal Application of Manuka Honey: Antimicrobial and Demineralising Effects In Vitro

1Sir John Walsh Research Institute, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Otago, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
2Department of Restorative Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Correspondence should be addressed to Warwick J. Duncan;

Received 10 December 2016; Revised 27 February 2017; Accepted 28 February 2017; Published 14 March 2017

Academic Editor: Timo Sorsa

Copyright © 2017 Syarida H. Safii 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.


Background. Topical application of manuka honey is effective in the treatment of burns and soft-tissue infections. The aim of this study was to assess the antibacterial activity of manuka honey against plaque-associated bacteria in vitro in order to evaluate the potential application as an adjunct to periodontal treatment. Materials and Methods. The minimum bacteriostatic and bactericidal concentrations (MIC and MBC) of manuka honey were compared to those of white clover honey against a variety of plaque-associated bacteria, at the natural and neutral pH. Dissolved calcium was measured following incubation of honeys with hydroxyapatite (HA) beads to assess their potential to demineralise oral hard tissues. Results. Both honeys inhibited most tested oral bacteria at similar MIC/MBC, but Streptococcus mutans was comparatively resistant. The honeys at pH neutral had little effect on antimicrobial activity. Incubation of HA beads in honey solutions resulted in pH-dependent calcium dissolution, and inoculation with S. mutans promoted further demineralisation by both types of honey. Conclusion. Manuka honey is antimicrobial towards representative oral bacteria. However, the relative resistance of S. mutans in association with the high concentrations of fermentable carbohydrates in honey and the direct demineralising effect at natural pH mitigate against the application of honey as an adjunct in the treatment of periodontal disease.