The addition of enzymes from microbes of seaweed to the toothpaste or mouthwash can provide better protection of the teeth, found a team of British researchers, report from BBC.
Scientists at Newcastle University had been studying Bacillus licheniformis to see if it could clean and protect teeth. The test results showed that microbes can protect the areas between teeth where the plaque forms, no matter that we regularly brush that areas.
According to the laboratory results the enzyme of the microbe passes through layering on the teeth by neutralizing the bacteria that cause the tooth decay.
Plaque is made from bacteria that connect in order to “colonize” the place, thus alienating other potential rivals, said Dr. Nick Jakubovics from the Faculty of Dental Medicine. Traditional toothpastes work by scrubbing off, with the help of the brush, the plaque from the teeth. This, however, is not always effective, so people who regularly clean their teeth may also need to visit the dentist, scientists warn.
“We found this enzyme in seaweed that can remove some of these undesirable bacteria from plaque”, said Dr. Jakubovics. Plaque is made from a lot of different types of bacteria. When bacterial cells die, the DNA inside them goes out and makes a biofilm that sticks to the teeth.
Instead of completely removing the plaque, much more efficient method would be to eliminate only the harmful bacteria, like Streptococcus mutans, that cause tooth decay, states the research team. The ultimate goal is to manage to “put” the enzymes of algae into the dental products. However, this will require more tests and studies to be made before any products are brought to the market.