Bioactive polyphenol components of cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon
) are known to have virulence attenuating effects against several cariogenic virulence properties responsible for dental caries pathogenesis. In particular, cranberry A-type proanthocyanidins and flavonols have demonstrated potent inhibitory effects against cariogenic virulence targets such as bacterial acidogenicity, aciduricity, glucan synthesis, and hydrophobicity. Cranberry phenols have the ability to disrupt these cariogenic virulence properties without being bactericidal, a key quality essential for retaining the benefits of the symbiotic resident oral microbiome and preventing the emergence of resistant microbes. This review discusses the cariostatic mechanisms of specific cranberry phytochemicals and their potential use as therapeutic agents against cariogenic bacteria in the prevention and control of dental caries.
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