Effects of the inorganic salts sodium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, and magnesium sulfate upon the growth and motility of Treponema vincentii. Academic Article uri icon


  • The use of inorganic salt solutions as chemotherapeutic agents in the control of periodontal disease has received considerable attention in the past few years. Although some research has been published on their clinical effectiveness, little is known about their therapeutic activity and bactericidal effects upon oral spirochetes. The present study investigated the effects of varied concentrations of NaCl, NaHCO3, and MgSO4 upon the in vitro growth and motility of Treponema vincentii. Growth determinations were performed using a turbidiometric analysis at 545 nm. Motility was qualitatively studied by direct examination of 200 treponemes in a wet mount specimen. Samples were taken at 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours following inoculation with the treponemes. Concentrations of 0.5 M NaCl, NaHCO3, or MgSO4 totally inhibited the growth and motility of T. vincentii over a 96-hour period. Salt concentrations less than or equal to 0.10 M had little if any effect upon growth and motility. The data support the hypothesis that the bactericidal and antimotility effects of these salts are related more to their concentrations than to the presence of a specific inorganic ion. They also suggest that motility may be a valid indicator of bacterial viability. Before the clinical significance of the results can be ascertained, human studies are needed to establish sulcular salt concentrations which can be achieved with local irrigation and to determine how long bactericidal concentrations can be maintained.

published proceedings

  • J Periodontol

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Wolinsky, LE||Lott, T

publication date

  • March 1986