Galla Chinensis is a leaf gall known to have some antibacterial effects. Using an in vitro biofilm model of dental plaque, the present study aimed to evaluate the anticaries effects of Galla Chinensis and its chemical fractions.Methods
A four-organism bacterial consortium (Streptococcus sanguis, Streptococcus mutans, Actinomyces naeslundii, Lactobacillus rhamnosus) was grown on hydroxyapatite (HA) discs, bovine enamel blocks, and glass surfaces in a continuous culture system and exposed to repeated solution pulses. Galla Chinensis extracts, sucrose solutions, and sodium fluoride solutions were pulsed into different flow cells. The pH value of the planktonic phase in each flow cell was recorded and the bacteria colonizing the biofilm on the HA discs were counted. Enamel blocks were observed using a polarized microscope and lesion depth was evaluated. The biofilm morphology was examined with a fluorescence microscope and the images captured were analyzed on an image analysis system.Results
When Galla Chinensis extract, its chemical fraction, or fluoride was added to the sucrose solution, the planktonic phase pH remained higher than that in the sucrose alone. A lower level of colonization on the HA surface was also observed in the groups to which Galla Chinensis and fluoride were added compared with the control sucrose group, and this was reflected in both the total viable count and the biofilm imaging, which showed fewer cariogenic bacteria and a less compact biofilm, respectively. Enamel demineralization in both the fluoride group and the Galla Chinensis group was significantly less than that in the sucrose group.Conclusions
Galla Chinensis and fluoride may inhibit the cariogenicity of the oral biofilm. Galla Chinensis appears to be a promising source of new agents that may prevent dental caries.