To evaluate the antimicrobial activities of silver inorganic materials, including silverzeolite (AgZ), silver zirconium phosphate silicate (AgZrPSi) and silver zirconium phosphate (AgZrP),against oral microorganisms. In line with this objective, the morphology and structure of each type of silver based powders were also investigated. Methods: The antimicrobial activities of AgZ, AgZrPSi and AgZrP were tested against Streptococcus mutans, Lactobacillus casei, Candida albicans and Staphylococcus aureus using disk diffusion assay as a screening test. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum lethal concentration (MLC) were determined using the modified membrane method. Scanning electron microscope and X-ray diffraction were used to investigate the morphology and structure of these silver materials.
All forms of silver inorganic materials could inhibit the growth of all test microorganisms. The MIC of AgZ, AgZrPSi and AgZrP was 10.0 g/L whereas MLC ranged between 10.0-60.0 g/L. In terms of morphology and structure, AgZrPSi and AgZrP had smaller sized particles (1.5-3.0 µm) and more uniformly shaped than AgZ. Conclusions: Silver inorganic materials in the form of AgZ, AgZrPSi and AgZrP had antimicrobial effects against all test oral microorganisms and those activities may be influenced by the crystal structure of carriers. These results suggest that these silver materials may be useful metals applied to oral hygiene products to provide antimicrobial activity against oral infection.