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Battling Periodontal Pathogens

Clinician's Brief (Capsule)

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One of many contributing factors to periodontal disease severity is oral microflora. In this in vitro study, the antimicrobial kill kinetics of a 0.125% v/v medium-chain triglyceride (ML:8) emulsion were compared to chlorhexidine digluconate (0.12% v/v) and a xylitol-containing dental formulation against resistant biofilm forms of 10 canine and feline periodontal pathogens. The ML:8 emulsion showed significant activity against the biofilm forms of the 10 pathogens. The anti-biofilm efficacy was significantly better than xylitol and comparable to chlorhexidine digluconate. At 5 minutes, the ML:8 and chlorhexidine digluconate solutions had >70% kill rates, which were maintained throughout the 24-hour testing period. The test compound also showed a significantly lower toxicity profile compared to chlorhexidine digluconate. There is potential for this ML:8 emulsion formulation to be used long-term as a water additive, although clinical trials will be required to establish in vivo efficacy.


Balancing client compliance with patient acceptance is a constant challenge when managing periodontal home care in dogs and cats. Tooth brushing remains the gold standard in prevention and management of oral disease. When something more effective becomes available, it will change the standards of human and veterinary oral hygiene. Topical products with active ingredients such as medium-chain triglycerides may prove a safe alternative to products on the market provided they can contact bacteria in all the right locations in the mouth. Products targeting periodontal disease management need appropriate contact time with biofilm and subgingival penetration, both of which can be challenging in veterinary patients. The profession will watch closely for the clinical application and evaluations of products with this active ingredient. If this product proves clinically effective, consider it one more tool in the toolbox for periodontal home care rather than a complete solution to all our periodontal disease problems.—Christopher Snyder, DVM, DAVDC


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