In Vitro Effects of Arginine-Containing Toothpastes on Cariogenic Biofilms.

Aranha Berto, Luciana; Lauener, Anic; Saads Carvalho, Thiago; Lussi, Adrian; Eick, Sigrun (2019). In Vitro Effects of Arginine-Containing Toothpastes on Cariogenic Biofilms. Oral health & preventive dentistry, 17(4), pp. 375-383. Quintessenz Verlags-GmbH 10.3290/j.ohpd.a42684

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The effects of arginine as a toothpaste additive were assessed on oral streptococci with and without a known arginine deiminase system (ADS) and cariogenic biofilms.


Suspensions of Streptococcus mutans, S. sobrinus and the ADS-positive (ADS+) S. sanguinis and S. gordonii were cultured with or without 1.5% L-arginine for 24 h. Thereafter, biofilms consisting of the four species were formed on polystyrene surfaces with or without 1.5% L-arginine for up to 10 d. Finally, biofilms that formed on enamel surfaces were exposed to a daily mechanical cleaning with an arginine and sodium monofluorophosphate (SMF+Arg)-containing toothpaste, a sodium monofluorophosphate fluoride (SMF)-containing toothpaste or a negative control for up to 10 weeks. At different incubation times, the pH in the culture media, the citrulline production and the percent of ADS+ bacteria within the biofilms were determined. Microsurface hardness loss was quantified in the experiments using enamel specimens.


In the presence of 1.5% arginine, S. sanguinis and S. gordonii showed a high level of production of citrulline after 6 h of incubation, together with an increase in the pH when compared to S. mutans and S. sobrinus. With arginine supplementation, the percentage of ADS+ species was higher at 1, 2 and 4 days and citrulline production was higher at all days of biofilm formation on polystyrene surfaces. After 4 and 10 weeks of treating biofilms on enamel surfaces, the SMF+Arg group had a higher proportion of ADS+ strains than the SMF group; at 4 weeks, the pH was higher in the SMF+Arg group. Loss of enamel hardness was the lowest in the SMF+Arg group and was significantly less in the SMF+Arg group than in the control group after 2, 4 and 10 weeks of treatment.


Toothbrushing using an arginine-containing toothpaste may protect against dental caries.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > School of Dental Medicine > Department of Preventive, Restorative and Pediatric Dentistry
04 Faculty of Medicine > School of Dental Medicine > Periodontics Research

UniBE Contributor:

Aranha Berto, Luciana, Saads Carvalho, Thiago, Lussi, Adrian, Eick, Sigrun


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Quintessenz Verlags-GmbH




Daniela Zesiger

Date Deposited:

03 Dec 2019 13:12

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:32

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

arginine citrulline microsurface hardness multispecies biofilm oral streptococci




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