Effect of erythritol on microbial ecology of in vitro gingivitis biofilms

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Gingivitis is one of the most common oral infections in humans. While sugar alcohols such as erythritol are suggested to have caries-preventive properties, it may also have beneficial effects in prevention of gingivitis by preventing maturation of oral biofilms. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of erythritol on the microbial ecology and the gingivitis phenotype of oral microcosms. Biofilms were inoculated with stimulated saliva from 20 healthy donors and grown in a gingivitis model in the continuous presence of 0 (control group), 5, and 10% erythritol. After 9 days of growth, biofilm formation, protease activity (gingivitis phenotype), and microbial profile analyses were performed. Biofilm growth was significantly reduced in the presence of erythritol, and this effect was dose dependent. Protease activity and the Shannon diversity index of the microbial profiles of the biofilms were significantly lower when erythritol was present. Microbial profile analysis revealed that presence of erythritol induced a compositional shift from periodontitis- and gingivitis-related taxa toward early colonizers. The results of this study suggest that erythritol suppresses maturation of the biofilms toward unhealthy composition. The gingivitis phenotype was suppressed and biofilm formation was reduced in the presence of erythritol. Therefore, it is concluded that erythritol may contribute to a healthy oral ecosystem in vitro.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1337477
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Oral Microbiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


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