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Are Cavities a Thing of the Past?

September 10, 2017

woman with no cavities at dental checkupMost dental offices focus dental care plans on prevention, but current research is taking prevention to new levels. Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have developed a molecule that may prevent cavities. This preclinical study indicates that the molecule discovered in the lab may completely block damage and decay cause by oral bacteria that produce decay-causing plaque. The future of preventive dental care may just mean the end of cavities. No more tooth decay and reduced risk for gum disease are both possible based on the results of this dental research.

Bacteria VS Your Smile

Every person has thousands of oral bacteria. These bacteria are a natural part of oral and overall health, and they are an important part of digestion and immune function. However, like all living organisms, bacteria digest nutrients and excrete waste. The waste byproduct of bacteria is called plaque. In the ideal situation, saliva will neutralize the acidic plaque right away preventing damage. Unfortunately, sugary and highly acidic diets can create plaque with an acidity level too high to be neutralized by saliva. When plaque isn’t neutralized, it builds up on the surfaces of teeth, and that’s when tooth decay and gum disease are most likely to occur.

The Cavity Blocking Molecule

The cavity blocking molecule doesn’t rid the mouth of bacteria, which are important parts of oral and overall health. Instead, when exposed to this newly discovered molecule, called streptococcus mutans, plaque is not able to create the sticky biofilm that allows plaque to adhere to the surfaces of teeth and makes it more difficult to remove with regular brushing and flossing. In the presence of the cavity blocking molecule, bacteria-produced plaque are significantly less likely to wear away tooth enamel and irritate soft tissue causing oral health issues like cavities.

Meet Dr. White

At the Evansville dental office of Melanie White, DDS, we are dedicated to staying at the forefront of dental innovations. That includes being in the know about all the latest research, and we can’t wait to offer this treatment as soon as this cavity preventing technology becomes available. In the meantime, we’ll continue to partner with our patients to prevent cavities with thorough at-home care and preventive dental checkups. Contact Maple Grove Family Dental to find out more or get started down the road to a lifetime of healthy, happy smiles. If you’re interested in learning more about the dental services we provide, check back regularly with our blog. You’ll find educational information here about all the latest dental innovations in use at our Evansville dentistry practice.

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