Dental plaque stability depends on bacterial adhesion to acquired pellicle, and on interspecies adhesion (or coaggregation). A high-molecular-weight cranberry constituent at 0.6 to 2.5 milligrams per milliliter reversed the coaggregation of 49 (58 percent) of 84 coaggregating bacterial pairs tested. It acted preferentially on pairs in which one or both members are gram-negative anaerobes frequently involved in periodontal diseases. Thus, the anticoaggregating cranberry constituent has the potential for altering the subgingival microbiota, resulting in conservative control of gingival and periodontal diseases. However, the high dextrose and fructose content of the commercially available cranberry juice makes it unsuitable for oral hygiene use, and the beneficial effect of the high-molecular-weight constituent requires animal and clinical studies.