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A clinical study on the effect of the prebiotic inulin in the control of oral malodour.

Doran, Anna L. and Verran, Joanna (2007) A clinical study on the effect of the prebiotic inulin in the control of oral malodour. Microbial ecology in health and disease, 19 (3). pp. 158-163. ISSN 0891-060X

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Abstract

The aim of this clinical study was to evaluate the potential of an inulin mouth rinse to reduce the proportions of tongue bacteria associated with oral malodour. Thirteen panellists rinsed with either 10% sucrose or a 10% inulin mouth rinse twice daily for 21 days. Breath odour levels were assessed using a Halimeter® and organoleptic assessment, both before and after sucrose, inulin or water rinses. Tongue pH was registered and the tongue flora was cultured on media selective for total and obligate anaerobes, streptococci and inulin fermenters. There were no differences in baseline Halimeter® levels over the 21 day period, but a slight decrease in organoleptic scores was noted. A reduction in odour levels assessed by Halimeter® and organoleptically was observed immediately after rinsing. The effect was greater by the end of the 21 day regime. Microbial counts remained high, and no significant differences were observed, but there was a trend towards increased streptococcal counts by the end of the 21 day period. Tongue pH baseline levels were approximately neutral, but immediately after carbohydrate rinses a typical Stephan curve was observed. There is some indication that the use of twice-daily carbohydrate mouth rinses (sucrose or the prebiotic inulin) can reduce oral malodour by encouraging the growth of acidogenic bacteria and inhibiting the obligate anaerobes associated with malodour. Inulin is a less cariogenic substrate, and inulin mouth rinsing may provide a novel method for the control of oral malodour.

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