Could a New Vaccine Prevent Tooth Decay?

Could a New Vaccine Prevent Tooth Decay?

Scheduling regular visits to a Eugene, OR dentistry ranks as an important part of protecting the health of your teeth and gums. But what if you could also improve your oral health by receiving a vaccine as part of your regular dental care at Feldmanis Dentistry? Well such a breakthrough may actually be in the works, as researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology are looking to develop a vaccine that could help to protect patients against the impact of tooth decay.

As part of their study, researchers tested a fusion of different proteins to prevent the development of tooth decay, more commonly referred to as cavities.

In early studies, the research team had attempted to protect teeth against decay by fusing the recombinant PAc proteins of the bacteria Streptococcus mutans – the primary cause of tooth decay – with proteins derived from a certain strain of E. coli. While this fusion was effective in protecting teeth from decay, researchers found it produced an unwanted response, including bodily inflammation.

In an effort to reduce these side effects, researchers developed KFD2-rPAC, a newly created fusion of different proteins.

In tests on rats and mice, the vaccine prototype was administered through the nasal cavity. When mice without cavities received this vaccine, it lowered their risk of developing cavities by 64 percent. In mice that already suffered from cavities, the vaccine had a therapeutic effect that improved the mice’s recovery by nearly 54 percent.

Overall, the vaccine was shown to retain the original version’s high level of protection against tooth decay, while producing fewer unwanted side effects.

Tooth Decay a Global Problem

Untreated tooth decay remains a serious health problem in the majority of the industrialized world despite recent advances in medicine and dental care, according to the World Health Organization. Between 60 to 90 percent of school aged children and adults are known to suffer from cavities. This obviously suggests that a great number of who people who visit a Eugene, OR dentistry and dentists around the world could benefit from such a vaccine.

While early results from this latest study appear encouraging, additional testing is required before this could be suitable for use on humans. Once perfected, however, it could be used to help improve the oral health of billions of people worldwide.

Patients living in areas of the world where access to basic health care services like dental care are limited or non-existent could benefit the most, as children and adults in these parts of the world have little opportunity to see a dentist. As the amount of sugar people consume worldwide continues to increase, finding a means of protecting our teeth from the effect of sugar becomes even more important.

Protect Your Oral Health by Visiting a Eugene, OR Dentistry

While science and medicine offer the possibility of a brighter, healthier future, there’s still no substitute for receiving regular dental care like what we provide at Feldmanis Dentistry. Regular dental exams provide Dr. Feldmanis with the opportunity to spot the signs of tooth decay and dental disease early on while still easily treatable. When oral health problems like cavities and gum disease go untreated, they can permanently damage your oral health in ways that cannot be easily repaired.

So while the future may one day offer a vaccine that will help to prevent tooth decay, there’s still no replacement for the need to brush and floss regularly.

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