To exert anticaries effects, probiotics are described to inhibit growth and biofilm formation of cariogenic bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans (SM). We screened 8 probiotics and assessed how SM growth or biofilm formation inhibition affects cariogenicity of probiotic-SM mixed-species biofilms in vitro. Growth inhibition was assessed by cocultivating probiotics and 2 SM strains (ATCC 20532/25175) on agar. Probiotics were either precultured before SM cultivation (exclusion), or SM precultured prior to probiotic cultivation (displacement). Inhibition of SM culture growth was assessed visually. Inhibition of SM biofilm formation on bovine enamel was assessed using a continuous-flow short-term biofilm model, again in exclusion or displacement mode. The cariogenicity of mixed-species biofilms of SM with the most promising growth and biofilm formation inhibiting probiotic strains was assessed using an artificial mouth model, and enamel mineral loss (ΔZ) was measured microradiographically. We found limited differences in SM growth inhibition in exclusion versus displacement mode, and in inhibition of SM 20532 versus 25175. Results were therefore pooled. Lactobacillus acidophilus LA-5 inhibited significantly more SM culture growth than most other probiotics. L. casei LC-11 inhibited SM biofilm formation similarly to other alternatives but showed the highest retention of probiotics in the biofilms (p < 0.05). Mineral loss from SM monospecies biofilms (ΔZ = 9,772, 25th/75th percentiles: 6,277/13,558 vol% × µm) was significantly lower than from mixed-species SM × LA-5 biofilms (ΔZ = 24,578, 25th/75th percentiles: 19,081/28,768 vol% × µm; p < 0.01) but significantly higher than from SM × LC-11 biofilms (ΔZ = 4,835, 25th/75th percentiles: 263/7,865 vol% × µm; p < 0.05). Probiotics inhibiting SM culture growth do not necessarily reduce the cariogenicity of SM-probiotic biofilms. Nevertheless, SM biofilm formation inhibition may be relevant in the reduction of cariogenicity.

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