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This study investigated the efficacy of calcium hydroxide and chlorhexidine gel for the elimination of intratubular Candida albicans (C. albicans). Human single-rooted teeth contaminated with C. albicans were treated with calcium hydroxide, 2% chlorhexidine gel, calcium hydroxide plus 2% chlorhexidine gel, or saline (0.9% sodium chloride) as a positive control. The samples obtained at depths of 0-100 and 100-200 µm from the root canal system were analyzed for C. albicans load by counting the number of colony forming units and for the percentage of viable C. albicans using fluorescence microscopy. First, the antimicrobial activity of calcium hydroxide and the 2% chlorhexidine gel was evaluated by counting the number of colony forming units. After 14 days of intracanal medication, there was a significant decrease in the number of C. albicans colony forming units at a depth of 0-100 µm with chlorhexidine treatment either with or without calcium hydroxide compared with the calcium hydroxide only treatment. However, there were no differences in the number of colony forming units at the 100-200 µm depth for any of the medications investigated. C. albicans viability was also evaluated by vital staining techniques and fluorescence microscopy analysis. Antifungal activity against C. albicans significantly increased at both depths in the chlorhexidine groups with and without calcium hydroxide compared with the groups treated with calcium hydroxide only. Treatments with only chlorhexidine or chlorhexidine in combination with calcium hydroxide were effective for elimination of C. albicans.


Ronan Jacques Rezende Delgado, Thaís Helena Gasparoto, Carla Renata Sipert, Claudia Ramos Pinheiro, Ivaldo Gomes de Moraes, Roberto Brandão Garcia, Marco Antônio Hungaro Duarte, Clóvis Monteiro Bramante, Sérgio Aparecido Torres, Gustavo Pompermaier Garlet, Ana Paula Campanelli, Norberti Bernardineli. Antimicrobial activity of calcium hydroxide and chlorhexidine on intratubular Candida albicans. International journal of oral science. 2013 Mar;5(1):32-6

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PMID: 23538639

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