The control of oral malodor is well-recognized in efforts to improve oral health. Antimicrobial formulations can mitigate oral malodor, however, procedures to assess effects on oral bacteria including those implicated in halitosis are unavailable. This investigation examined the antimicrobial effects of a new liquid triclosan/copolymer dentifrice (test) formulation that demonstrated significant inhibition of oral malodor in previous organoleptic clinical studies. Procedures compared antimicrobial effects of the test and control formulations on a range of oral micro-organisms including members implicated in halitosis, substantive antimicrobial effects of formulations with hydroxyapatite as a surrogate for human teeth and ex vivo effects on oral bacteria from human volunteers. With Actinomyces viscosus, as a model system, the test formulation demonstrated a dose-dependent effect. At these concentrations the test formulation provided significant antimicrobial effects on 13 strains of oral bacteria including those implicated in bad breath at selected posttreatment time points. Treatment of hydroxyapatite by the test dentifrice resulted in a significant and substantive antimicrobial effect vs. controls. Oral bacteria from subjects treated ex vivo with the test dentifrice resulted in significant reductions in cultivable oral bacteria and odorigenic bacteria producing hydrogen sulfide. In summary, microbiological methods adapted to study odorigenic bacteria demonstrate the significant antimicrobial effects of the test (triclosan/copolymer) dentifrice with laboratory and clinical strains of oral bacteria implicated in bad breath.
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