Objective: To assess the antimicrobial efficacy of the aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Triphala at various concentrations against primary plaque colonizers. Materials and methods: Preparation of the herbal extracts for this in vitro study was done using cold infusion method. Ethanol and Millipore water were used as solvents for extraction. The stock solution was prepared by adding 1000 mg of dried extract in one ml of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). The stock solution was further diluted to obtain 6.25%, 12.5%, 25% and 50% concentrations of the extract. The antimicrobial efficacy testing of Triphala extracts against these bacteria was done by agar well diffusion method. 0.2% chlorhexidine was used as positive control while DMSO acted as negative control. One way Analysis of Variance and independent sample t-test were used for comparing mean diameter of inhibition zones. Results: All the concentrations of ethanolic and aqueous extracts of Triphala inhibited the growth of S. mutans, S. sanguis and S. salivarius. In general, the efficacy increased with increasing concentration with maximum inhibition at 50% concentration. There was no statistically significant difference in the mean diameter of inhibition zone between the ethanolic and aqueous extracts of triphala against S. mutans. Conclusion: Both aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Triphala have the potential to be used antiplaque agents.
Key words: Antimicrobial efficacy, Triphala, Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC), Dental caries, S. mutans, periodontal diseases.