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Case Sudy

Impact of Mouthwashes on Biofilms

Effective oral care combines mechanical plaque removal, such as brushing, flossing, and the abrasive action of toothpaste, with chemical agents that prevent biofilm formation. These antibacterial agents are often found in mouthwash. By integrating these methods, oral care products can better target harmful bacteria and maintain oral health. Mouthwashes not only help clean teeth and gums but also reach areas that might be missed by brushing alone, enhancing overall oral hygiene.

Biofilms and Mouthwash

The challenge

Our client needed high-resolution images to visualise the impact of their mouthwash on bacterial cells after exposure. The goal was to determine how these antibacterial mouthwashes would affect the biofilm structure and viability of Streptococcus mutans. By visualising these effects, the client aimed to gain insights into the detailed mechanisms of action, thereby strengthening their product's credibility and effectiveness.

What we delivered

Lucideon assessed the antimicrobial activity of two mouthwashes against S. mutans using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). Firstly, the S. mutans biofilm was grown for 72 hours to ensure a mature and representative sample. The biofilm samples were then treated with the two mouthwashes for 30 seconds and 5 minutes, using water as the control. After treatment, the samples were fixed with glutaraldehyde, treated, and sectioned using an ultramicrotome to prepare them for TEM analysis. TEM provided high-resolution images of cells in cross-section, revealing intracellular structures and the extent of cellular damage caused by the mouthwashes. This detailed visualisation allowed for a thorough examination of the mouthwash's effects on the biofilm's morphology and viability.

Value to the client

Lucideon's analysis confirmed the antibacterial properties of both mouthwashes, highlighting cell surface damage and membrane disruption as clear indicators of cell death. Significant damage to the cell surface, including membrane deformation and lysis, was observed after just 30 seconds of treatment with both mouthwash types. This provided compelling visual evidence of the mouthwashes' efficacy. Lucideon's support not only enhanced the efficacy claims of the mouthwash but also provided valuable marketing material that can improve consumer trust and confidence in the products.

TEM images generated in conjunction with EM Analytical showing evidence of cell death when cells of S. mutans were exposed to mouthwashes.