Medicinal plants have been used for centuries and have become part of complementary medicine worldwide because of their potential health benefits. Since dental caries is one of the most common oral diseases and is considered a major public health problem, the present study evaluated in vitro antimicrobial potential of methanol extracts of Ruta chalepensis against the major etiologic agent of dental caries, Streptococcus mutans. The antimicrobial effect of R. chalepensis was evaluated in liquid medium by the dimethylthiazol-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) reduction colorimetric assay and in solid medium by the determination of colony forming units (CFU). We found that the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) was 250 μg/mL (p <0.05) in liquid medium and 3.9 μg/mL (p <0.05) in solid medium.
Key words: Antimicrobial agents, plant extracts, Ruta chalepensis, dental caries, Streptococcus mutans.
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