Access note: Some of the items in this collection are restricted to campus access only. Off-campus Daemen users can download items from this collection by the following link to log into our proxy server with your Daemen username and password.


Zackery Elliott

Document Type


Publication Date



Natural Sciences

Faculty Advisor

Sally Smesko


Dental caries is a major public health problem. Research for dental hygiene products that are safer to use than those currently containing fluoride and chlorhexidine is ongoing. Accidental chlorhexidine ingestion implications include mucosal desquamation and dental fluorosis. Fluoride ingestion has been linked to an increased risk of bone fracture, gastric mucosa irritation, and interruption in enzymatic function leading to a decreased immune response. A safe and commonplace alternative has yet to be established. Here we investigate the viability of essential oils for use in dental hygiene products, and the inhibitory properties of three essential oils against Streptococcus mutans growth. Furthermore, we assess their ability to decrease dental calcium dissolution in the acidic environment created by this bacterium. Current results indicate that essential oil-based ingredients could be effective alternatives to the active ingredients found in traditional anti-caries agents.