Open Access Open Badges Research article

Efficacy of citric acid denture cleanser on the Candida albicans biofilm formed on poly(methyl methacrylate): effects on residual biofilm and recolonization process

Fernanda Faot1*, Yuri Wanderley Cavalcanti2, Martinna de Mendonça e Bertolini2, Luciana de Rezende Pinto1, Wander José da Silva2 and Altair Antoninha Del Bel Cury2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Prosthodontics, School of Dentistry, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, Rio Grande, do Sul 96015-560, Brazil

2 Department of Prosthodontics and Periodontology, Piracicaba Dental School, State University of Campinas, Piracicaba, São Paulo 13414-903, Brazil

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BMC Oral Health 2014, 14:77  doi:10.1186/1472-6831-14-77

Published: 23 June 2014



It is well known that the use of denture cleansers can reduce Candida albicans biofilm accumulation; however, the efficacy of citric acid denture cleansers is uncertain. In addition, the long-term efficacy of this denture cleanser is not well established, and their effect on residual biofilms is unknown. This in vitro study evaluated the efficacy of citric acid denture cleanser treatment on C. albicans biofilm recolonization on poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) surface.


C. albicans biofilms were developed for 72 h on PMMA resin specimens (n = 168), which were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 cleansing treatments (CTs) overnight (8 h). CTs included purified water as a control (CTC) and two experimental groups that used either a 1:5 dilution of citric acid denture cleanser (CT5) or a 1:8 dilution of citric acid denture cleanser (CT8). Residual biofilms adhering to the specimens were collected and quantified at two time points: immediately after CTs (ICT) and after cleaning and residual biofilm recolonization (RT). Residual biofilms were analyzed by quantifying the viable cells (CFU/mL), and biofilm architecture was evaluated by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Denture cleanser treatments and evaluation periods were considered study factors. Data were analyzed using two-way ANOVA and Tukey’s Honestly Significant Difference (HSD) test (α = 0.05).


Immediately after treatments, citric acid denture cleansing solutions (CT5 and CT8) reduced the number of viable cells as compared with the control (p < 0.01). However, after 48 h, both CT groups (CT5 and CT8) showed biofilm recolonization (p < 0.01). Residual biofilm recolonization was also detected by CLSM and SEM analysis, which revealed a higher biomass and average biofilm thickness for the CT8 group (p < 0.01).


Citric acid denture cleansers can reduce C. albicans biofilm accumulation and cell viability. However, this CT did not prevent biofilm recolonization.

Biofilm; Denture hygiene; Denture Cleansers; Candida albicans; Poly(methyl methacrylate)