Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 23, Issue 9, pp 3509–3516 | Cite as

Anticaries activity of egg ovalbumin in an experimental caries biofilm model on enamel and dentin

  • Rodrigo A. GiacamanEmail author
  • Pascale Jobet-Vila
  • Cecilia Muñoz-Sandoval
Original Article



Limited evidence suggests a putative inhibitory effect of dietary proteins on demineralization during the carious process. The aim was to explore a potential anticaries activity of the egg protein ovalbumin on a relevant in vitro approach.

Materials and methods

Biofilms of Streptococcus mutans UA159 were formed on saliva-coated enamel and dentin bovine slabs. Biofilms were challenged with 10% sucrose followed by either a 200 μg/mL solution of ovalbumin or 1:10, 1:100, and 1:1000 (v/v) serial dilutions of that ovalbumin solution, for the entire length of the experiment. Biofilms exposed to 10% sucrose followed only by 0.9% NaCl served as caries-positive control. Once completed the experimental phase, biofilms were analyzed for biomass, viable bacteria, and polysaccharide formation. Final surface hardness (SH) was obtained to calculate %SH loss (demineralization). Two independent experiments were conducted, in triplicate. Data were analyzed by ANOVA and a post hoc test at the 95% confidence level.


A reduction (p < 0.05) in biomass and extracellular polysaccharide formation, but not in the number of viable cells, was observed for both dental substrates. All ovalbumin concentrations tested showed lower demineralization than the positive control (p < 0.05), in a dose-dependent manner. The highest concentration showed a reduction in the %SH loss of about 30% for both enamel and dentin.


Egg ovalbumin presented to sucrose-challenged biofilms of Streptococcus mutans seems to reduce cariogenicity of a biofilm-caries model.

Clinical relevance

Ovalbumin may counteract the cariogenic effect of sugars. If these findings are clinically confirmed, novel preventive approaches for caries are warranted.


Dental caries Caries model Oral biofilm Streptococcus mutans Ovalbumin Dietary proteins 



This manuscript was submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Oral Rehabilitation specialty by PJ at the University of Talca. A preliminary report of this study was presented at the 61st ORCA Congress, Greifswald, Germany, 2014.

The authors thank Dr. Carla Lozano for valuable insights into the discussion of the study results.

Author’s contributions

RAG and CM conceived the experiments and the research questions. RAG and CM designed the experiments. PJ and CM performed the experiments, collected the data, and analyzed them. PJ drafted the first manuscript. RAG wrote the final version of the article. RAG, PJ, and CM approved the submitted version.


The work was funded by a Chilean Government Grant Fondecyt 1140623 to RAG.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

For this type of study, formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cariology Unit, Department of Oral RehabilitationUniversity of TalcaTalcaChile

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