The effect of aspartame and saccharin on the antimicrobial activity of chlorhexidine against mutans streptococci


Background: Although chlorhexidine is the most effective against dental plaque it is extremely bitter to prepare formulation, it is necessary to use flavoring and sweetening which can inhibit the antibacterial effect of rinse preparation.
Materials and Method: The effect of different concentrations of aspartame and saccharin on the antibacterial effect of chlorhexidine 0.2% against Mutans Streptococci was evaluated using the agar diffusion method and determination of MIC value of chlorhexidine alone and in presence of aspartame or saccharin was also done in this study.
Results: The results of this study demonstrate that at a concentration of 4%, 8%, 12%, 16% aspartame did not significantly inhibit the antibacterial activity of 0.2% chlorhexidine however the antibacterial activity of chlorhexidine significantly reduced when increased the concentrations of aspartame up to 40% and MIC values increased when increased the concentrations of aspartame, while saccharin interfere with the activity of chlorhexidine 0.2% and significantly reduced the anti – mutans activity of chlorhexidine 0.2% at all the concentrations used in this study (6% - 60%) and MIC values increased when increased the concentrations of saccharin.
Conclusion: This in vitro study suggests that aspartame may be used as sweetener and flavoring in concentrations up to 16% with chlorhexidine rinse.
Key words: Chlorhexidine, aspartame, saccharin, mutans streptococci. (J Bagh Coll Dentistry 2008; 20(2):93-97)