Maji Jose1, Maria B Cyriac2, Vidya Pai3, Ipe Varghese4, Manjula Shantaram5
1 Department of Oral Pathology, Yenepoya Dental College, Yenepoya University, Mangalore, India
2 Department of Oral Pathology, Kannur Dental College, Anjarankandy, Kannur, Kerala, India
3 Department of Microbiology, Yenepoya Medical College, Yenepoya University, Mangalore, India
4 Department of Oral Pathologist and Registrar, Kerala University of Health Sciences, Thrissur, Kerala, India
5 Department of Biochemistry, PG Centre, Chikka Aluwara, Somawarpet taluk, Kodagu; Department of Biochemistry, Yenepoya Medical College, Yenepoya University, Mangalore, Karnataka, India

DOI: 10.4103/0976-9668.136184


Background and Objectives: Brushing the teeth with fibrous husk of Cocos nucifera (coconut) is a common oral hygiene practice among people of rural areas of South India. However, the probable antimicrobial properties of this plant material against common oral pathogens have not been proved scientifically. Therefore, the present study was designed. Materials and Methods: Alcoholic extract of the husk of Cocos nucifera was prepared and the antimicrobial properties against common oral pathogens like cariogenic bacteria, periodontal pathogens, and candidal organisms were performed by the Agar Well Diffusion Method. The results obtained were then subjected to statistical analysis using One-Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and the Tukey’s Honestly Significant Difference (HSD). Results: The alcoholic extract of Cocos nucifera showed a significant concentration-dependent antimicrobial activity, expressed as a zone of inhibition with respect to all tested organisms except Actinomyces species. The inhibitory effect was more significant, with a majority of cariogenic organisms and Candida, with a zone of inhibition ranging from 4.6 mm to 16.3 mm. However, the effect was lesser with Cocos nucifera compared to chlorhexidine. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) ranged from 50 mg/ml to 75 mg/ml. Conclusion: Cocos nucifera has a significant inhibitory action against common oral pathogens, indicating the presence of highly effective antimicrobial compounds. Therefore, it is proved that its use can contribute to oral health to a great extent. Identification of these active compounds provides the scope for incorporating it into a modern oral care system, so as to control oral diseases.

Keywords: Antimicrobial activity, coconut husk, Cocos nucifera, Oral pathogens

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