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Journal of Medicinal Food Jun 2006, Vol. 9, No. 2: 290-292

Antimicrobial Effect of Mastic Gum Methanolic Extract Against Porphyromonas gingivalis


Nir Sterer

Department of Prosthodontics, The Hebrew University–Hadassah School of Dental Medicine, Jerusalem, Israel.



The antimicrobial effect of mastic gum, an ancient remedy for oral malodor, against Porphyromonas gingivalis, a known odorogenic periopathogenic oral bacterium, was tested using the agar diffusion test. Paper discs impregnated with mastic gum methanolic extract (MME) [0.5–4% (wt/vol)] produced inhibition zones of 10.5–13.7 mm, respectively, without showing signs of hemolysis, whereas chlorhexidine (0.2%)-impregnated discs, which showed greater inhibition (33.5 mm), also produced large and distinctive hemolytic zones (17 mm). Further analysis of the antimicrobial traits of MME revealed a logarithmic ratio between inhibition zone diameter and MME concentration (r = .99), indicating limited water solubility of this material. These results suggest that mastic gum may be used as a potential nontoxic local agent in treating oral malodor and gum disease.