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Adv Dent Res. 2012 September; 24(2): 94–97.
PMCID: PMC3420366

Targeted Antimicrobial Treatment to Re-establish a Healthy Microbial Flora for Long-term Protection

Monitoring Editor: J.M. ‘Bob’ ten Cate

Abstract

Streptococcus mutans has been implicated as the major acid-producing (cariogenic) bacterium. Dietary sugars and other factors may cause an imbalance of oral microflora that enables S. mutans to become dominant in the multi-species biofilms on the tooth surface, which could lead to dental caries. The application of broad-spectrum antimicrobials often results in re-colonization and re-dominance of S. mutans within oral flora, while in contrast, therapies capable of selective elimination of S. mutans from oral microbial communities may help to re-establish the normal flora and provide long-term protection. C16G2, a novel synthetic antimicrobial peptide with specificity for S. mutans, was found to have robust killing efficacy and selectivity for S. mutans in vitro. A subsequent pilot human study found that a single application of C16G2 in the oral cavity (formulated in a mouthrinse vehicle) was associated with a reduction in plaque and salivary S. mutans, lactic acid production, and enamel demineralization during the entire 4-day testing period. C16G2 is now being developed as a new anticaries drug.

Keywords: microbial ecology, microbiology, microbial genetics, caries, dental biofilm, microbiota

Articles from Advances in Dental Research are provided here courtesy of International and American Associations for Dental Research