Tag Archives | cavity

Nanoparticles can be used to break up plaque and prevent cavities

Bacteria living in dental plaque contribute to tooth decay which is often resistant to traditional antimicrobial treatment. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania took advantage of pH sensitive and enzyme like properties of iron containing nanoparticles to catalyze the activity of hydrogen peroxide. The activated hydrogen peroxide produced free radicals that were able to degrade the biofilm matrix associated with tooth decay and kill bacteria thus preventing plaque and reducing tooth decay. The researchers said that even a low concentration of hydrogen peroxide was effective at disrupting the biofilm. It was found that adding nanoparticles increased the efficiency of bacterial killing more than 5,000-fold. The work built off a seminal finding published in 2007  showing that nanoparticles, long believed to be biologically and chemically inert, could in fact possess enzyme-like properties. This study showed that an iron oxide nanoparticle behaved similarly to a peroxidase, an enzyme found naturally that catalyzes oxidative reactions, often using hydrogen peroxide. Some of the researchers were skeptical to use nanoparticles in an oral setting to kill bacteria because the free radicals can also damage healthy tissue. However the nanoparticles’ activity is dependent on pH and had no catalytic activity at neutral or near-neutral pH of 6.5 or 7, which are […]

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No Drill Dentistry Can Prevent Tooth Decay

Research published in Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology has shown that the need for fillings can be reduced by 30 to 50% through preventative oral care. This means that many previous fillings are not needed when dental decay occurs. As such a preventative approach can be beneficial when compared to current dental practices. Dentistry has been traditionally practiced with the believe that tooth decay rapidly progressed and the best way to manage it was to identify early decay and remove it quickly to prevent the tooth surface form developing cavities. After the decay is removed the tooth is restored with a filling material. Fifty years of research studies have shown that decay is not always progressive and develops more slowly than previously thought. It can take an average of four to eight years for decay to progress from the tooth’s outer layer to the tooth’s inner layer. As such quickly moving in to make a filling may not be the best approach.   The study’s author Wendell Evans and his team developed the Caries Management System which is a set of protocols which cover the specific treatment of early decay, the assessment of decay risk, and the interpretation of dental X-rays. The ‘no-drill’ treatment […]

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Can Graphene Be Used to Treat Gum Disease and Fight Cavities?

When bacteria invade the mouth dental disease can form. This can lead to tooth decay or gum disease. Traditionally, antibiotics are prescribed to kill the bacteria if it is found. However, antibiotic resistance has been an issue in recent years where the antibiotics no longer work as effectively to kill the bacteria. Thus new methods to eliminate bacteria are need. Scientists have discovered a material called graphene oxide is effective at eliminating this type of bacteria even if it has developed antibiotic resistance.  Previous studies have shown that graphene oxide which are carbon nanosheets studded with oxygen groups, is a promising material in biomedical applications. Graphene oxide can inhibit the growth of some bacterial strains with minimal harm to mammalian cells. Researchers were interested to see if graphene oxide is effective at elminating bacteria responsible for dental disease. They tested the material against three different species of bacteria that are linked to tooth decay and gum disease. Graphene oxide destroyed the bacterial cell walls and membranes and slowed the growth of the pathogens. Hence the researchers feel that Graphene could be used in dental care and treatment. Source: Jianliang He and et. al. Killing Dental Pathogens Using Antibacterial Graphene Oxide. […]

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Nutrition is Important for Oral Health

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has published a position paper on oral health and nutrition which looks at the current research literature to support that nutrition is an important component of oral health. The paper promotes the view that dietitian nutritionists should collaborate with oral health care professionals to help in disease prevention. The paper states “Oral health and nutrition have a synergistic multidirectional relationship. Oral infectious diseases, as well as acute, chronic, and terminal systemic diseases with oral manifestations impact functional ability to eat as well as diet and nutrition status. Likewise, nutrition and diet can affect the development and integrity of the oral cavity as well as the progression of oral diseases.” The paper was published in the the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in May 2013, and is available for download at http://www.eatright.org/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&ItemID=8426. The paper suggests that health care professionals should discuss the importance of food choices to help ensure the best oral health possible. The paper encourages nutritionists to educate their patients and clients about the important aspect of nutritional health and how it can to lead to better oral health. The paper suggests that eating fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy foods […]

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Bacteria and Fungus Can Team Up to Cause Cavities

An interesting article titled “Symbiotic relationship between Streptococcus mutans and Candida albicans synergizes the virulence of plaque-biofilms in vivo,” appears in the February 2014, edition of Infection and Immunity, written by Megan L. Falsetta and et al. The article describes how although Streptococcus mutans is often cited as the main bacteria in dental caries (cavities), particularly in early-childhood caries (ECCs), it may not act alone and may team up with Candida albicans. The infection with both can double the number of caries and increase their severity as it did for rats in the study. Candida albicans adheres mainly to the cheek and tongue, while Streptococcus mutans sticks to the surfaces of teeth by converting sugars to a sticky glue-like material called extracellular polysaccharide (EPS). The researchers found that the exoenzyme that S. mutans uses to react with sugar to produce EPS also enables Candida to produce a glue-like polymer in the presence of sugar, which makes it adhere to teeth and bind S. mutans. It lacks these abilities otherwise. When this occurs the fungus contributes the bulk of the plaque. The researchers note that the combination of the two organisms led to a enhanced product of the glue-like polymer which boosts the […]

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