While many of us face paralyzing indecision when confronted with the myriad toothpaste, mouthwash, and teeth whitening products available commercially, some researchers have been looking into the things that protect our teeth naturally.
The discovery that a common amino acid, naturally found in foods like red meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products, can stop the formation of dental plaque in lab rats is not exactly current news (this amino acid, L-arginine, is already used in dental products for tooth sensitivity) but it is still a significant contribution to the science of dental care.
“This is important as bacteria like to aggregate on surfaces to form biofilms,” says Alexander Rickard, a member of a recent study on the function of L-arginine.
“Biofilms account for more than 50 percent of all hospital infections. Dental plaque biofilms contribute to the billions of dollars of dental treatments and office visits every year in the United States.”(1)
Fighting Cavities – And More Serious Conditions
According to Rickard, about 39 percent of Americans have moderate-to-severe periodontitis – and the number only rises as people age; 64 percent of people over the age of 65 suffer from the disease.
Most contemporary methods of dental plaque removal involve antimicrobial agents aimed at killing plaque bacteria – but these agents can affect patients sense of taste, and also stain their teeth.
Of course, there is also the heated debate in medical communities about the overuse of antimicrobial treatments in recent years – antimicrobial resistance has been named a major public health concern by the World Health Organization, with many doctors and scientists rushing to find ways to bring down the use of antimicrobials in medical settings, while also finding new antibiotics that can get around the issue of antimicrobial resistance(2).
Researchers are hopeful that with further clinical trials to verify their findings, L-arginine could become a new standard for of controlling plaque bacteria.
Further Study Needed
While researchers are confident in the results of this study, more investigation is needed to determine exactly how L-arginine causes the disintegration of biofilms.
What they suspect is that L-arginine can affect how cells stick together, triggering bacteria within biofilms to alter their behaviour until they no longer stick to surfaces.
For this recent study, published in the journal PLOS ONE(3), researchers used a newly developed model system that can mimic the human oral cavity, using human saliva to grow bacterial species found in dental plaques in a lab setting.
This is a fairly novel approach to investigating the effects of L-arginine, and researchers hope it will go a long way to helping find new treatments for oral infections caused by biofilms that don’t involve the overuse of antimicrobials.
Clinical trials are the next step in investigating the potential use of L-arginine for protecting against more than just tooth sensitivity.
- Practicing Mindfulness Can Help Improve Your Blood Sugar Levels
Mindfulness exercise training has been proven to be therapeutic in various aspects of health. It can improve cognitive function, reduce stress, …
- Natural Compound Found in Green Tea Helps Kill Oral Cancer Cells Without Harming Healthy Cells
According to the American Oral Cancer Foundation, nearly 50,000 Americans will be diagnosed with some form of oral cancer this …
- Scientists Examined The Mouths, Skin and Feces of an Amazonian Tribe…Here’s What They Discovered.
The recent discovery of a semi-nomadic community of about 15,000 Yanomami people in southern Venezuela(1) has doctors and scientists wondering …
- Hexavalent Chromium (Chromium-6) Was Just Found In 75% Of Drinking Water
Access to clean drinking water is a basic human right- or at least it should be. While there are many …
- Here’s What Happens To Your Body When You Sit Down For 11 Hours or More a Day
Studies that show the negative effects of sitting for extended periods of time are still fairly new, but the evidence …
- According To This Study, Your Blood Type Could Influence Your Chances of Developing Alzheimer’s
Many people worry about the possibility of developing Alzheimer’s disease, especially those with a family history of it. Now, recent …
- With Less Than a Year Left of Water Supply, California Wants To Turn Sea Water Into Drinking Water
According to experts like Jay Famiglietti, a senior water scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California is currently experiencing …
- Inspired By Her Grandmother, This Designer Created a Tableware Set To Help People With Dementia
Inspiration for creative design projects comes from all sorts of places, as industrial designer Sha Yao knows. When her grandmother …
- Eating Foods High in Vitamin E Can Help Protect and Repair Damaged Immune Cells
Oxidative stress is well known to have a negative impact on your immune system(1) – which is a big part …
- Ireland Makes Gutsy Move Against Tobacco Industry And Bans Branded Packaging
Following in the footsteps of Canada and other countries that have chosen to federally regulate the appearance of cigarette containers …
- Researchers Discover ‘Missing Link’ Between Brain and Immune System (This Changes Everything!)
A recent study has turned decades of medical education on its head by reporting a direct connection between the brain …
- Drinking 450mL of Beet Juice Every Day Can Help Improve Cognitive Function, Study Finds
Beet juice may not be popular for its taste, but its health benefits are serious business, according to a recent …
- A Father and Son’s Genius Beehive Invention Let’s You Harvest Honey Without Disturbing Bees!
While the health effects of honey are well-researched and thoroughly documented, harvesting honey has long been the domain of professional …
- Here’s What Happened To Beijing’s Sky When It Decided To Take 5 Million Cars Off The Road
Air pollution is bad for you and the environment. In the same way that second-hand smoke can kill, air pollution can …
- This College Student Ate McDonald’s For 10 Days And Lost Nearly 1,400 Species of Gut Bacteria
We all know that a diet of regular fast food isn’t good for us, but just how unhealthy is it? …