article The “tissue infection” that plagues most people’s teeth, according to a new study, is caused by bacteria that lives on the surface of the tooth.
In the latest issue of the journal PLOS ONE, researchers at the University of Sydney and the University’s School of Dentistry report they have developed a novel way to treat the problem, using a new kind of toothpaste called ToothCare that works through the bacteria.
“We’re able to use a novel type of bacteria that can infect the surface, which we can then treat with a new antibacterial agent,” said study co-author and PhD candidate Professor Tim McLean.
“This makes ToothCare a new and novel treatment option for a variety of diseases.”
They have also created a test that allows them to see how well the new ToothCare works against different types of bacteria.
The findings suggest that a more targeted approach to tackling the problem could prove effective for people who have already had a dental problem or have previously had a toothache, but may be resistant to existing oral therapies.
The researchers say that, while ToothCare is currently a novel treatment, they hope that it will become a more mainstream option in the future.
It’s not yet clear if the new study will help solve the issue of plaque build-up, but the scientists are confident that the new approach will have an impact.
“I think that the next step is to make it commercially available and see if it’s a cost-effective solution,” Professor McLean said.
“It’s not only about whether it works for the disease, but how it works, what kind of bacterial population it infects, and how it affects the patient.”
The study has been published in PLOS One.
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