Do oral biofilms influence the wear and corrosion behavior of titanium?
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The main aim of this work was to study the simultaneous wear-corrosion of titanium (Ti) in the presence of biofilms composed of Streptococcus mutans and Candida albicans. Both organisms were separately grown in specific growth media, and then mixed in a medium supplemented with a high sucrose concentration. Corrosion and tribocorrosion tests were performed after 48 h and 216 h of biofilm growth. Electrochemical corrosion tests indicated a decrease in the corrosion resistance of Ti in the presence of the biofilms although the TiO2 film presented the characteristics of a compact oxide film. While the open circuit potential of Ti indicated a tendency to corrosion in the presence of the biofilms, tribocorrosion tests revealed a low friction on biofilm covered Ti. The properties of the biofilms were similar to those of the lubricant agents used to decrease the wear rate of materials. However, the pH-lowering promoted by microbial species, can lead to corrosion of Ti-based oral rehabilitation systems.