Cosmetic DentistryWell we have to hand it to the scientists who are always finding out ways to help us live better. Here’s another round of awesome discoveries – Bauke Dijkstra and Lubbert Dijkhuizen, two professors from the Netherlands, have decrypted the structure of the enzyme that is responsible for making plaque stick to your teeth.

The following seemed particularly important and explains the situation clearly.

The University of Groningen researchers analysed glucansucrase from the lactic acid bacteriumLactobacillus reuteri, which is present in the human mouth and digestive tract. The bacteria use the glucansucrase enzyme to convert sugar from food into long, sticky sugar chains. They use this glue to attach themselves to tooth enamel. The main cause of tooth decay, the bacterium Streptococcus mutans, also uses this enzyme. Once attached to tooth enamel, these bacteria ferment sugars releasing acids that dissolve the calcium in teeth. This is how caries develops

According to the Wikipedia, glucansucrase is an enzyme used by bacteria in human mouths that produce long sticky biofilm chains to stick to teeth and cause tooth decay.  So the goal has been to find glucansucrase inhibitors.

In the future we can probably expect more glucansucrase inhibitors being added to such products as tooth-paste or mouthwash but much more research has to be done as glucansucrase is naturally occurring in the mouth so there would have to be a balance.

The results of the research have been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)

 

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