Quantification by SIFT-MS of volatile compounds produced by the action of sodium hypochlorite on a model system of infected root canal content

Konstantinos Ioannidis, Sadia Niazi, Sanjukta Deb, Francesco Mannocci*, David Smith, Claire Turner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
183 Downloads (Pure)


Root canal irrigation with sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) is an indispensable part of the chemomechanical preparation of infected root canals in Endodontology. However, there is limited information on the emergence of toxic or hazardous volatile compounds (VOCs) from the interaction of NaOCl with the infected content of tooth biomaterials. The aim of this study was to assess the formation of VOCs and disinfection by-products (DBPs) following the interaction of NaOCl 2.5% v/v with a model system of different sources of natural organic matter (NOM) present in infected root canals, including dentine powder, planktonic multi-microbial suspensions (Propionibacterium acnes, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Actinomyces radicidentis, Streptococcus mitis and Enterococcus faecalis strain OMGS3202), bovine serum albumin 4%w/v and their combination. NaOCl was obtained from a stock solution with iodometric titration. Ultrapure water served as negative control. Samples were stirred at 37°C in aerobic and anaerobic conditions for 30min to approximate a clinically realistic time. Centrifugation was performed and the supernatants were collected and stored at -800 C until analysis. The reaction products were analysed in real time by selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry (SIFT-MS) in triplicates. SIFT-MS analysis showed that the released VOCs included chlorinated hydrocarbons, particularly chloroform, together with unexpected higher levels of some nitrogenous compounds, especially acetonitrile. No difference was observed between aerobic and anaerobic conditions. The chemical interaction of NaOCl with NOM resulted in the formation of toxic chlorinated VOCs and DBPs. SIFT-MS analysis proved to be an effective analytical method. The risks from the rise of toxic compounds require further consideration in dentistry.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0198649
Pages (from-to)e0198649
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
Early online date10 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2018


  • Bacteria/chemistry
  • Disinfection/methods
  • Hazardous Substances/analysis
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry/methods
  • Root Canal Irrigants/chemistry
  • Root Canal Preparation/methods
  • Sodium Hypochlorite/chemistry
  • Volatile Organic Compounds/analysis


Dive into the research topics of 'Quantification by SIFT-MS of volatile compounds produced by the action of sodium hypochlorite on a model system of infected root canal content'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this