Sodium chloride and potassium sorbate: a synergistic combination against Enterococcus faecalis biofilms: an in vitro study


Suzette V. van der Waal, DDS, Department of Conservative & Preventive Dentistry, Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA), Gustav Mahlerlaan 3004, 1081 LA Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Telefax: +31–20–5980333



Incomplete disinfection of the root canal system is a major cause of post-treatment disease. This study aimed to investigate the disinfecting property of organic acid salts and sodium chloride (NaCl), in a double-hurdle strategy, on Enterococcus faecalis biofilms. First of all, the high-throughput resazurin metabolism assay (RMA) was used to test a range of organic acid salts. Then, to gain more insight into the efficacy of sorbate salt solutions, 48-h E. faecalis biofilms were evaluated in colony-forming unit (CFU) assays. Chlorhexidine (CHX) and calcium hydroxide [Ca(OH)2] were tested in parallel as controls. Sorbate salt produced the largest and most significant reduction of fluorescence intensity in the RMA assay. Neither NaCl nor potassium sorbate (KS) alone induced a clinically relevant reduction of CFU counts after 1 h. Surprisingly, the combination of the two in a single solution had a synergistic effect on the inactivation of E. faecalis. Potassium sorbate amplified the efficacy of NaCl. Of the salts tested, NaCl with KS eradicated E. faecalis biofilms within 1 h. This study showed that the double-hurdle strategy indeed leads to synergistic efficacy and is a possible next step in the complete disinfection of endodontic infections.