A New Breakthrough Could Be the End of Tooth Decay

Blue cells micro view

For many people, the idea of visiting a Happy Valley dentist causes a lot of anxiety and even dread. If visiting the dentist causes you to feel stressed and anxious, know that you’re not alone. A recent study found that 61 percent of people worldwide experience some kind of dental anxiety. From cringing while visiting a Happy Valley dentist to outright refusal to receive dental care, this type of phobia interferes with patient dental care in a variety of ways.

One of the reasons the study discovered that patients wanted to avoid the dentist was the sound of dental drills. Just thinking about the high pitch whine of a drill was enough to cause many patients to simply avoid receiving care at all. However, a new potential breakthrough may have helped to solve that problem once and for all.

Researchers have created a peptide with antimicrobial and remineralizing properties that could help to not only prevent tooth decay but maybe even reverse the process entirely.

New Breakthrough Could Be the End of Cavities

The molecule created by researchers combines the salivary peptide histain 5, which has previously showed promise as an antimicrobial agent in earlier studies, and the chemical compound phosphoserine, which has shown tooth remineralization properties. The study, published last month in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, demonstrated that combining the two agents together could create a more powerful peptide than either one could on its own.

When combined together, researchers found that the new molecule bonded more strongly with tooth enamel, suppressed tooth decay more significantly, and even worked to help rebuild enamel previously weakened by harmful oral bacteria. Overall, the molecule showed great promise for preventing plaque buildup in the mouth.

To create the molecule, researchers began by synthesizing phosphoserine and histain 5 into a single peptide. The team then tested the new Sp-H5 molecule’s properties for preventing tooth decay, strengthening enamel, and decreasing plaque buildup on over 100 teeth.

The molecule proved incredibly effective at combating plaque, the oral bacteria most responsible for tooth decay. Within 24 hours of application, the molecule successful destroyed the majority of plaque biofilms on the test teeth.

To understand this effect a little more concisely, think of plaque like a sack that’s filled with harmful oral bacteria. Plaque has the ability to cling to the surface of our teeth where it creates a biofilm. This biofilm is what enables plaque and all of the harmful bacteria it contains to attack our tooth enamel. By destroying plaque’s ability to cling to the surface of our teeth, the molecule successfully limited the biofilm’s ability to harm the health of our teeth.

While the molecule appears to offer a variety of promising benefits, it still has a long way to go before making its way into the office of a Happy Valley dentist. However, while researchers believe more testing is necessary, they are encouraged by what these early results have yielded. Give more time and study, and it’s possible that tooth decay could become a thing of the past.

Protecting Your Oral Health in the Present

Until researchers find the magical key to eliminating tooth decay, patients must still maintain the three most important habits for protecting their oral health.

Step 1: Brush at least twice a day for two minutes each time.

Step 2: Floss daily.

Step 3: Regularly visit your Happy Valley dentist.

Only through regular preventative dental care can patients hope to avoid the problems that contribute to tooth decay and gum disease.

So, if you hope to never hear the sound of a dental drill again, these three steps will help until science catches the rest of the way up to a future without cavities.