Phytochemical composition and <i>in vitro</i> screening of the antimicrobial activity of essential oils on oral pathogenic bacteria

<p>In this study, the activity of essential oils (EOs) against microorganisms involved in oral diseases was evaluated. Fourteen EOs were selected and subjected to gas chromatographic analysis, including <i>Illicium verum, Eucaliptus globulus, Eugenia caryophyllata, Leptospermum scoparium, Mentha arvensis, Mentha piperita, Myrtus communis, Salvia officinalis, Melaleuca alternifolia, Rosmarinus officinalis, Lavandula x intermedia, Thymus capitatus</i> and <i>Thymus vulgaris.</i> These EOs were tested for their antimicrobial activity on <i>Streptococcus mutans</i> and <i>Lactobacillus</i> species clinically isolated from dental surgery patients. The antibacterial activity was evaluated by means of the disc diffusion and the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC). Five EOs, having shown an interesting antimicrobial activity, were selected for a second screening in combination between them and with chlorhexidine. From the second assays, two EO–EO and three EO-chlorhexidine associations gave interesting results as potential constituents of mouthwashes, especially for the contribution of oxygenated monoterpenes, including menthol, thymol and carvacrol.</p>