Dental biofilms are implicated in the formation of caries and periodontal disease. A major constituent of the supragingival biofilm is Streptococcus mutans, which produces lactic acid from sucrose fermentation, enhancing enamel demineralization and eventual caries development. Caries prevention through F inhibits enamel demineralization and promotes remineralization. Fluoride also exerts effects on metabolic activities in the supragingival biofilm such as aerobic respiration, acid fermentation and dentrification. In experimental S. mutans biofilms, adding 1000 ppm F to an acidogenic biofilm resulting from 10% sucrose addition increased pH to pre-sucrose levels, suggesting inhibition of acid fermentation. F effects on metabolic activity and sucrose utilization in interproximal plaque biofilms were also recorded. Addition of 10% sucrose reduced pH from neutral to 4.2, but subsequent addition of 1000 ppm F increased pH by 1 unit, inhibiting acid fermentation. 10% Sucrose addition also stimulated denitrification, increasing production of nitrous oxide (N2O). Addition of 1000 ppm F suppressed denitrification, indicating an additional mechanism by which F exerts effects in the active interproximal biofilm. Finally, fluid dynamic activity by power tooth brushing enhanced F delivery and retention in an experimental S. mutans biofilm, suggesting a potential novel benefit for this intervention beyond mechanical plaque removal.
Clavanins are histidine-rich, amidated alpha-helical antimicrobial peptides that were originally isolated from the leukocytes (hemocytes) of a tunicate, Styela clava. The activities of clavanin A amide and clavanin A acid against Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Candida albicans were substantially greater at pH 5.5 than at pH 7.4. In contrast, clavanin AK, a synthetic variant of clavanin A acid containing 4 histidine-->lysine substitutions exerted substantial activity at both pH 7.4 and pH 5.5. Each of these three clavanins permeabilized the outer and inner membranes of E. coli very effectively at pH 5.5, but only clavanin AK did so at pH 7.4. Unlike magainin 1 and cecropin P1, alpha-helical antimicrobial peptides from frog skin and porcine intestine, respectively, clavanins were broadly effective against gram-positive bacteria, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, as well as gram-negative organisms. Because clavanins exert substantial antimicrobial activity in 0.1 to 0.3 M NaCl, they provide templates for designing broad-spectrum peptide antibiotics intended to function in extracellular environments containing normal or elevated NaCl concentrations. The pH-dependent properties of histidine-rich antimicrobial peptides may allow the design of agents that would function selectively in acidic compartments, such as the gastric lumen, or within phagolysosomes.
Dental caries is an infectious disease which results from the acidic demineralisation of the tooth enamel and dentine as a consequence of the dental plaque (a microbial biofilm) accumulation. Research showed that several foods contain some components with antibacterial and antiplaque activity. Previous studies indicated antimicrobial and antiplaque activities in a low-molecular-mass (LMM) fraction of extracts from either an edible mushroom (Lentinus edodes) or from Italian red chicory (Cichorium intybus).
We have evaluated the antimicrobial mode of action of these fractions on Streptococcus mutans, the etiological agent of human dental caries. The effects on shape, macromolecular syntheses and cell proteome were analysed.
The best antimicrobial activity has been displayed by the LMM mushroom extract with a bacteriostatic effect. At the MIC of both extracts DNA synthesis was the main macromolecular synthesis inhibited, RNA synthesis was less inhibited than that of DNA and protein synthesis was inhibited only by roughly 50%. The partial inhibition of protein synthesis is compatible with the observed significant increase in cell mass. The increase in these parameters is linked to the morphological alteration with transition from cocci of the untreated control to elongated cells. Interestingly, these modifications were also observed at sub-MIC concentrations. Finally, membrane and cytosol proteome analysis was conducted under LMM mushroom extract treatment in comparison with untreated S. mutans cells. Significant changes were observed for 31 membrane proteins and 20 of the cytosol fractions. The possible role of the changed proteins is discussed.
This report has shown an antibiotic-like mode of action of mushroom and chicory extracts as demonstrated by induced morphogenetic effects and inhibition of specific macromolecular synthesis. This feature as well as the safe use of this extract as result of its natural origin render the LMM both mushroom and chicory extracts suitable for the formulation into products for daily oral hygiene such as mouthwashes or toothpastes.
Streptococcus mutans; Dental caries; Anticaries compounds; Food components
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are naturally occurring, broad-spectrum antimicrobial agents that have recently been examined for their utility as therapeutic antibiotics. Unfortunately, they are expensive to produce and are often sensitive to protease digestion. To address this problem, we have examined the activity of a peptide mimetic whose design was based on the structure of magainin, exhibiting its amphiphilic structure. We demonstrate that this compound, meta-phenylene ethynylene (mPE), exhibits antimicrobial activity at nanomolar concentrations against a variety of bacterial and Candida species found in oral infections. Since Streptococcus mutans, an etiological agent of dental caries, colonizes the tooth surface and forms a biofilm, we quantified the activity of this compound against S. mutans growing under conditions that favor biofilm formation. Our results indicate that mPE can prevent the formation of a biofilm at nanomolar concentrations. Incubation with 5 nM mPE prevents further growth of the biofilm, and 100 nM mPE reduces viable bacteria in the biofilm by 3 logs. Structure-function analyses suggest that mPE inhibits the bioactivity of lipopolysaccharide and binds DNA at equimolar ratios, suggesting that it may act both as a membrane-active molecule, similar to magainin, and as an intracellular antibiotic, similar to other AMPs. We conclude that mPE and similar molecules display great potential for development as therapeutic antimicrobials.
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.
microbial ecology; microbiology; microbial genetics; caries; dental biofilm; microbiota
Dental caries results from prolonged plaque acidification that leads to the establishment of a cariogenic microflora and demineralization of the tooth. Urease enzymes of oral bacteria hydrolyze urea to ammonia, which can neutralize plaque acids. To begin to examine the relationship between plaque ureolytic activity and the incidence of dental caries, recombinant, ureolytic strains of Streptococcus mutans were constructed. Specifically, the ureABCEFGD operon from Streptococcus salivarius 57.I was integrated into the S. mutans chromosome in such a way that the operon was transcribed from a weak, cognate promoter in S. mutans ACUS4 or a stronger promoter in S. mutans ACUS6. Both strains expressed NiCl2-dependent urease activity, but the maximal urease levels in ACUS6 were threefold higher than those in ACUS4. In vitro pH drop experiments demonstrated that the ability of the recombinant S. mutans strains to moderate a decrease in pH during the simultaneous metabolism of glucose and urea increased proportionately with the level of urease activity expressed. Specific-pathogen-free rats that were infected with ACUS6 and fed a cariogenic diet with drinking water containing 25 mM urea and 50 μM NiCl2 had relatively high levels of oral urease activity, as well as dramatic decreases in the prevalence of smooth-surface caries and the severity of sulcal caries, relative to controls. Urease activity appears to influence plaque biochemistry and metabolism in a manner that reduces cariogenicity, suggesting that recombinant, ureolytic bacteria may be useful to promote dental health.
Streptococcus mutans, a common oral pathogen and the causative agent of dental caries, has persisted and even thrived on the tooth surface despite constant removal and eradication efforts. In this study, we generated a number of synthetic antimicrobial peptides against this bacterium via construction and screening of several structurally diverse peptide libraries where the hydrophobicity and charge within each library was varied incrementally in order to generate a collection of peptides with different biochemical characteristics. From these libraries, we identified multiple peptides with robust killing activity against S. mutans. To further improve their effectiveness, the most bactericidal peptides from each library were synthesized together as one molecule, in various combinations, with and without a flexible peptide linker between each antimicrobial region. Many of these “fusion” peptides had enhanced killing activities in comparison with those of the original nonconjoined molecules. The results presented here illustrate that small libraries of biochemically constrained peptides can be used to generate antimicrobial peptides against S. mutans, several of which may be likely candidates for the development of anticaries agents.
Nanotechnology has been applied to dental materials as an innovative concept for the development of materials with better properties and anticaries potential. In this review we discuss the current progress and future applications of functional nanoparticles incorporated in dental restorative materials as useful strategies to dental caries management. We also overview proposed antimicrobial and remineralizing mechanisms. Nanomaterials have great potential to decrease biofilm accumulation, inhibit the demineralization process, to be used for remineralizing tooth structure, and to combat caries-related bacteria. These results are encouraging and open the doors to future clinical studies that will allow the therapeutic value of nanotechnology-based restorative materials to be established.
nanoparticles; dental materials; nanotechnology; dental caries
Dental caries is one of the most common infectious ultifactorial diseases worldwide, characterized by the progressive demineralization of the tooth, following the action of bacterial acid metabolism. The main factors predisposing the onset of the carious process are: 1) the presence of bacterial species able to lower the pH until critical values of 5.5, 2) the absence of adequate oral hygiene, 3) an inefficient immune response anti-caries, 4) the type of alimentary diet and 5) the structure of the teeth. Among the 200 bacterial species isolated from dental plaque the most pathogenic for dental caries are: Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus sobrinus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Actinomices viscusus and Bifidobacterium dentium. Our laboratory (LAB® s.r.l., Codigoro, Ferrara, Italy) has developed a test for absolute and relative quantification of the most common oral cariogenic bacteria. The test uses specific primers and probes for the amplification of bacteria genome sequences in Polymerase Chain Reaction Real Time. The results provide a profile of patient infection, helpful for improving the diagnosis and planning of preventive treatment to reduce the bacterial load.
Bacteria; dental caries; real-time polymerase chain reaction
Streptococcus mutans is a major pathogen in human dental caries. One of its important virulence properties is the ability to form biofilms (dental plaque) on tooth surfaces. Eradication of such biofilms is extremely difficult. We therefore screened a library of secondary metabolites from myxobacteria for their ability to damage biofilms of S. mutans.
Here we show that carolacton, a secondary metabolite isolated from Sorangium cellulosum, has high antibacterial activity against biofilms of S. mutans. Planktonic growth of bacteria was only slightly impaired and no acute cytotoxicity against mouse fibroblasts could be observed. Carolacton caused death of S. mutans biofilm cells, elongation of cell chains, and changes in cell morphology. At a concentration of 10 nM carolacton, biofilm damage was already at 35% under anaerobic conditions. A knock-out mutant for comD, encoding a histidine kinase specific for the competence stimulating peptide (CSP), was slightly less sensitive to carolacton than the wildtype. Expression of the competence related alternate sigma factor ComX was strongly reduced by carolacton, as determined by a pcomX luciferase reporter strain.
Carolacton possibly interferes with the density dependent signalling systems in S. mutans and may represent a novel approach for the prevention of dental caries.
Streptococcus mutans, a major etiological agent of dental caries, causes demineralization of the tooth tissue due to the formation of acids from dietary carbohydrates. Dominant among the virulence determinants of this organism are aciduricity and acidogenicity, the abilities to grow at low pH and to produce acid, respectively. The mechanisms underlying the ability of S. mutans to survive and proliferate at low pH are currently under investigation. In this study we cultured S. mutans at pH 5.2 or 7.0 and extracted soluble cellular proteins. These were analyzed using high-resolution two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, and replicate maps of proteins expressed under each of the two conditions were generated. Proteins with modulated expression at low pH, as judged by a change in the relative integrated optical density, were excised and digested with trypsin by using an in-gel protocol. Tryptic digests were analyzed using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry to generate peptide mass fingerprints, and these were used to assign putative functions according to their homology with the translated sequences in the S. mutans genomic database. Thirty individual proteins exhibited altered expression as a result of culture of S. mutans at low pH. Up-regulated proteins (n = 18) included neutral endopeptidase, phosphoglucomutase, 60-kDa chaperonin, cell division proteins, enolase, lactate dehydrogenase, fructose bisphosphate aldolase, acetoin reductase, superoxide dismutase, and lactoylglutathione lyase. Proteins down-regulated at pH 5.2 (n = 12) included protein translation elongation factors G, Tu, and Ts, DnaK, small-subunit ribosomal protein S1P, large-subunit ribosomal protein L12P, and components of both phosphoenolpyruvate:protein phosphotransferase and multiple sugar binding transport systems. The identification of proteins differentially expressed following growth at low pH provides new information regarding the mechanisms of survival and has identified new target genes for mutagenesis studies to further assess their physiological significance.
Importance of the field:
Dental caries is one of the most common preventable childhood diseases; people are susceptible to this ailment throughout their lifetime. In the United States, 90% of late adolescents and young adults have dental caries, while 94% of all dentate adults had evidence of treated or untreated coronal caries. Dental caries is often not self-limiting and without proper care, caries can progress until the tooth is destroyed.
Areas covered in this review:
In this paper, the etiology of dental caries was briefly introduced. It was followed by a thorough review of patents and literatures on the recent development of various novel technologies for the prevention and treatment of dental caries.
What the reader will gain:
Recent advances in anti-plaque agents, including chemoprophylactic agents, antimicrobial peptides, vaccines, probiotics/replacement therapy and sugar substitutes, and remineralization agents including fluorides and casein phosphopeptides are analyzed.
Take home massage:
Both the discovery of new anti-caries agents and the development of dentotropic delivery systems will be the future focus of this research field.
Dental caries (tooth decay) is caused by a specific group of cariogenic bacteria, like Streptococcus mutans, which convert dietary sugars into acids that dissolve the mineral in tooth structure. Killing cariogenic bacteria is an effective way to control or prevent tooth decay. In a previous study, we discovered a novel compound (Glycyrrhizol A), from the extraction of licorice roots, with strong antimicrobial activity against cariogenic bacteria. In the current study, we developed a method to produce these specific herbal extracts in large quantities, and then used these extracts to develop a sugar-free lollipop that effectively kills cariogenic bacteria like Streptococcus mutans. Further studies showed that these sugar-free lollipops are safe and their antimicrobial activity is stable. Two pilot human studies indicate that a brief application of these lollipops (twice a day for ten days) led to a marked reduction of cariogenic bacteria in oral cavity among most human subjects tested. This herbal lollipop could be a novel tool to promote oral health through functional foods.
antimicrobial therapy; licorice; Streptococcus mutans
Secondary caries remains the main problem limiting the longevity of composite restorations. The objective of this study was to investigate the remineralization of demineralized human enamel in vitro via a nanocomposite containing nanoparticles of amorphous calcium phosphate (NACP). NACP were synthesized by a spray-drying technique and incorporated into a dental resin. First, caries-like subsurface enamel lesions were created via an acidic solution. Then, NACP nanocomposite or a commercial fluoride-releasing control composite was placed on the demineralized enamel, along with control enamel without a composite. These specimens were then treated with a cyclic demineralization/remineralization regimen for 30 days. Quantitative microradiography showed typical enamel subsurface demineralization before cyclic demineralization/remineralization treatment, and significant remineralization in enamel under the NACP nanocomposite after the demineralization/remineralization treatment. The NACP nanocomposite had the highest enamel remineralization (mean ± SD; n = 6) of 21.8 ± 3.7%, significantly higher than the 5.7 ± 6.9% for fluoride-releasing composite (p < 0.05). The enamel group without composite had further demineralization of −26.1 ± 16.2%. In conclusion, a novel NACP nanocomposite was effective in remineralizing enamel lesions in vitro. Its enamel remineralization was 4-fold that of a fluoride-releasing composite control. Combined with the good mechanical and acid-neutralization properties reported earlier, the new NACP nanocomposite is promising for remineralization of demineralized tooth structures.
dental nanocomposite; calcium phosphate nanoparticles; human enamel; lesion remineralization; contact microradiography; caries inhibition
Dental plaque is a structurally- and functionally-organized biofilm. Plaque forms in an ordered way and has a diverse microbial composition that, in health, remains relatively stable over time (microbial homeostasis). The predominant species from diseased sites are different from those found in healthy sites, although the putative pathogens can often be detected in low numbers at normal sites. In dental caries, there is a shift toward community dominance by acidogenic and acid-tolerating species such as mutans streptococci and lactobacilli, although other species with relevant traits may be involved. Strategies to control caries could include inhibition of biofilm development (e.g. prevention of attachment of cariogenic bacteria, manipulation of cell signaling mechanisms, delivery of effective antimicrobials, etc.), or enhancement of the host defenses. Additionally, these more conventional approaches could be augmented by interference with the factors that enable the cariogenic bacteria to escape from the normal homeostatic mechanisms that restrict their growth in plaque and out compete the organisms associated with health. Evidence suggests that regular conditions of low pH in plaque select for mutans streptococci and lactobacilli. Therefore, the suppression of sugar catabolism and acid production by the use of metabolic inhibitors and non-fermentable artificial sweeteners in snacks, or the stimulation of saliva flow, could assist in the maintenance of homeostasis in plaque. Arguments will be presented that an appreciation of ecological principles will enable a more holistic approach to be taken in caries control.
Streptococcus mutans is considered a major causative of tooth decay due to it’s ability to rapidly metabolize carbohydrates such as sucrose. One prominent excreted end product of sucrose metabolism is lactic acid. Lactic acid causes a decrease in the pH of the oral environment with subsequent demineralization of the tooth enamel. Biologically relevant bacteria-induced enamel demineralization was studied.
Optical profiling was used to measure tooth enamel decay with vertical resolution under one nanometer and lateral features with optical resolution as a result of S. mutans biofilm exposure. Comparison measurements were made using AFM.
After 72 hr of biofilm exposure the enamel displayed an 8-fold increase in the observed roughness average, (Ra), as calculated over the entire measured array. Similarly, the average root mean square (RMS) roughness, RRMS, of the enamel before and after biofilm exposure for 3 days displayed a 7-fold increase. Further, the direct effect of chemically induced enamel demineralization using biologically relevant organic acids was shown. Optical profiles of the enamel surface after addition of a 30% lactic acid solution showed a significant alteration in the surface topography with a corresponding increase in respective surface roughness statistics. Similar measurements with 10% citric acid over seconds and minutes give insight into the demineralization process by providing quantitative measures for erosion rates: comparing surface height and roughness as metrics.
The strengths of optical profilometry as an analytical tool for understanding and analyzing biologically relevant processes such as biofilm induced tooth enamel demineralization were demonstrated.
enamel erosion; optical profilometry; biofilm; Streptococcus mutans; enamel demineralization; citric acid; lactic acid; AFM
Dental caries in very young children may be severe, result in serious infection, and require general anesthesia for treatment. Dental caries results from a shift within the biofilm community specific to the tooth surface, and acidogenic species are responsible for caries. Streptococcus mutans, the most common acid producer in caries, is not always present and occurs as part of a complex microbial community. Understanding the degree to which multiple acidogenic species provide functional redundancy and resilience to caries-associated communities will be important for developing biologic interventions. In addition, microbial community interactions in health and caries pathogenesis are not well understood. The purpose of this study was to investigate bacterial community profiles associated with the onset of caries in the primary dentition. In a combination cross-sectional and longitudinal design, bacterial community profiles at progressive stages of caries and over time were examined and compared to those of health. 16S rRNA gene sequencing was used for bacterial community analysis. Streptococcus mutans was the dominant species in many, but not all, subjects with caries. Elevated levels of S. salivarius, S. sobrinus, and S. parasanguinis were also associated with caries, especially in subjects with no or low levels of S. mutans, suggesting these species are alternative pathogens, and that multiple species may need to be targeted for interventions. Veillonella, which metabolizes lactate, was associated with caries and was highly correlated with total acid producing species. Among children without previous history of caries, Veillonella, but not S. mutans or other acid-producing species, predicted future caries. Bacterial community diversity was reduced in caries as compared to health, as many species appeared to occur at lower levels or be lost as caries advanced, including the Streptococcus mitis group, Neisseria, and Streptococcus sanguinis. This may have implications for bacterial community resilience and the restoration of oral health.
Conventional diagnostic methods frequently detect only late stage enamel demineralization under composite resin restorations. The objective of this study is to examine the subsurface tooth-composite interface and to assess for the presence of secondary caries in pediatric patients using a novel Optical Coherence Tomography System with an intraoral probe.
A newly designed intraoral cross polarization swept source optical coherence tomography (CP-OCT) imaging system was used to examine the integrity of the enamel-composite interfaces in vivo. Twenty two pediatric subjects were recruited with either recently placed or long standing composite restorations in their primary teeth. To better understand how bacterial biofilms cause demineralization at the interface, we also used the intraoral CP-OCT system to assess ex vivo bacterial biofilm growth on dental composites.
As a positive control, cavitated secondary carious interfaces showed a 18.2 dB increase (p<0.001), or over 1-2 orders of magnitude higher, scattering than interfaces associated with recently placed composite restorations. Several long standing composite restorations, which appeared clinically sound, had a marked increase in scattering than recently placed restorations. This suggests the ability of CP-OCT to assess interfacial degradation such as early secondary caries prior to cavitation. CP-OCT was also able to image ex vivo biofilms on dental composites and assess their thickness.
This paper shows that CP-OCT imaging using a beam splitter based design can examine the subsurface interface of dental composites in human subjects. Furthermore, the probe dimensions and acquisition speed of the CP-OCT system allowed for analysis of caries development in children.
Cementum is the outer-, mineralized-tissue covering the tooth root and an essential part of the system of periodontal tissue that anchors the tooth to the bone. Periodontal disease results from the destructive behavior of the host elicited by an infectious biofilm adhering to the tooth root and left untreated, may lead to tooth loss. We describe a novel protocol for identifying peptide sequences from native proteins with the potential to repair damaged dental tissues by controlling hydroxyapatite biomineralization. Using amelogenin as a case study and a bioinformatics scoring matrix, we identified regions within amelogenin that are shared with a set of hydroxyapatite-binding peptides (HABPs) previously selected by phage display. One 22-amino acid long peptide regions referred to as amelogenin-derived peptide 5 (ADP5) was shown to facilitate cell-free formation of a cementum-like hydroxyapatite mineral layer on demineralized human root dentin that, in turn, supported attachment of periodontal ligament cells in vitro. Our findings have several implications in peptide-assisted mineral formation that mimic biomineralization. By further elaborating the mechanism for protein control over the biomineral formed, we afford new insights into the evolution of protein–mineral interactions. By exploiting small peptide domains of native proteins, our understanding of structure–function relationships of biomineralizing proteins can be extended and these peptides can be utilized to engineer mineral formation. Finally, the cementomimetic layer formed by ADP5 has the potential clinical application to repair diseased root surfaces so as to promote the regeneration of periodontal tissues and thereby reduce the morbidity associated with tooth loss.
amelogenin; amelogenin-derived peptides; bioinformatics; biomineralization; cementomimetics; cementum; demineralization; remineralization
Dental caries is a chronic disease which can affect us at any age. The term “caries” denotes both the disease process and its consequences, that is, the damage caused by the disease process. Dental caries has a multifactorial aetiology in which there is interplay of three principal factors: the host (saliva and teeth), the microflora (plaque), and the substrate (diet), and a fourth factor: time. The role of sugar (and other fermentable carbohydrates such as highly refined flour) as a risk factor in the initiation and progression of dental caries is overwhelming. Whether this initial demineralization proceeds to clinically detectable caries or whether the lesion is remineralized by plaque minerals depends on a number of factors, of which the amount and frequency of further sugars consumption are of utmost importance. This paper reviews the role of sugar and sugar substitutes in dental caries.
With more than 50 years of clinical success, fluoride serves as the gold standard agent for preventing tooth decay. In particular, the action of fluoride facilitates saliva-driven remineralization of demineralized enamel and alters solubility beneficially. Still, tooth decay remains problematic, and one way to address it may be through the development of new mineralizing agents. Laboratory and clinical studies have demonstrated that the combination of fluoride and functionalized β-tricalcium phosphate (fTCP) produces stronger, more acid-resistant mineral relative to fluoride, native β-TCP, or fTCP alone. In contrast to other calcium-based approaches that seem to rely on high levels of calcium and phosphate to drive remineralization, fTCP is a low-dose system designed to fit within existing topical fluoride preparations. The functionalization of β-TCP with organic and/or inorganic molecules provides a barrier that prevents premature fluoride-calcium interactions and aids in mineralization when applied via common preparations and procedures. While additional clinical studies are warranted, supplementing with fTCP to enhance fluoride-based nucleation activity, with subsequent remineralization driven by dietary and salivary calcium and phosphate, appears to be a promising approach.
caries; erosion; regeneration; enamel; dentin; preventive dentistry
Oral microbes that colonize in the mouths of humans contribute to disease susceptibility, but it is unclear if host genetic factors mediate colonization. We therefore tested the hypothesis that the levels at which oral microbes colonize in the mouth are heritable. Dental plaque biofilms were sampled from intact tooth surfaces of 118 caries-free twins. An additional 86 caries-active twins were sampled for plaque from carious lesions and intact tooth surfaces. Using a reverse capture checkerboard assay the relative abundance of 82 bacterial species was determined. An integrative computational predictive model determined microbial abundance patterns of microbial species in caries-free twins as compared to caries-active twins. Heritability estimates were calculated for the relative microbial abundance levels of the microbial species in both groups. The levels of 10 species were significantly different in healthy individuals than in caries-active individuals, including, A. defectiva, S. parasanguinis, S. mitis/oralis, S. sanguinis, S. cristatus, S. salivarius, Streptococcus sp. clone CH016, G. morbillorum and G. haemolysans. Moderate to high heritability estimates were found for these species (h2 = 56%–80 %, p < .0001). Similarity of the overall oral microbial flora was also evident in caries-free twins from multivariate distance matrix regression analysis. It appears that genetic and/or familial factors significantly contribute to the colonization of oral beneficial species in twins.
Half of dental restorations fail in 10 years, with secondary caries as the main reason. Calcium phosphate composites could remineralize tooth lesions. The objectives of this study were to: (1) Impart antibacterial activity to a composite with nanoparticles of amorphous calcium phosphate (NACP); and (2) investigate the effect of quaternary ammonium dimethacrylate (QADM) on mechanical and dental plaque microcosm biofilm properties for the first time.
The NACP and glass particles were filled into a dental resin that contained bis(2-methacryloyloxy-ethyl) dimethyl-ammonium bromide, the QADM. NACP nanocomposites containing 0%, 7%, 14%, and 17.5% of QADM by mass, respectively, were photo-cured. A commercial composite with no antibacterial activity was used as control. Mechanical properties were measured in three-point flexure. A human saliva microcosm model was used to grow biofilms on composites. Live/dead assay, metabolic activity, colony-forming unit (CFU) counts, and lactic acid production of biofilms on the composites were measured.
Increasing QADM mass fraction monotonically reduced the biofilm viability, CFU and lactic acid. Biofilms on NACP nanocomposite with 17.5% QADM had metabolic activity that was 30% that on a commercial composite control (p<0.05). Total microorganisms, total streptococci, and mutans streptococci CFU counts (mean±sd; n=6) on composite control was 6-fold those on NACP+17.5% QADM nanocomposite. Composite control had long strings of cells with normal short-rod shapes, while some cells on NACP-QADM nanocomposites disintegrated into pieces. Adding QADM to NACP did not decrease the strength and elastic modulus, which matched (p>0.1) those of a commercial composite without Ca-PO4 or antibacterial activity.
A dental plaque microcosm model was used to evaluate the novel NACP-QADM nanocomposite. The nanocomposite greatly reduced the biofilm viability, metabolic activity and lactic acid, while its mechanical properties matched those of a commercial composite. NACP-QADM nanocomposite with calcium phosphate fillers, good mechanical properties and a strong antibacterial activity may have potential for anti-biofilm and anti-caries restorations.
Antibacterial nanocomposite; amorphous calcium phosphate nanoparticles; quaternary ammonium; dental plaque microcosm biofilm; stress-bearing; dental caries
It is well known that dental caries and periodontitis are the consequence of bacterial
colonization and biofilm formation on the enamel surface. The continuous presence of
bacterial biofilms on the tooth surface results in demineralization of the tooth enamel
and induces an inflammatory reaction of the surrounding gums (gingivitis). The retention
and survival of microorganisms on toothbrushes pose a threat of recontamination especially
for certain patients at risk for systemic infections originating from the oral cavity,
e.g., after T-cell depleted bone marrow transplantation. Thus, the effects of different
decolonization schemes on bacterial colonization of toothbrushes were analyzed, in order
to demonstrate their applicability to reduce the likelihood of (auto-)reinfections.
Toothbrushes were intentionally contaminated with standardized suspensions of
Streptococcus mutans or Staphylococcus aureus.
Afterwards, the toothbrushes were exposed to rinsing under distilled water, rinsing and
drying for 24 h, 0.2% chlorhexidine-based decolonization, or ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
The remaining colony forming units were compared with freshly contaminated positive
controls. Each experiment was nine-fold repeated. Bi-factorial variance analysis was
performed; significance was accepted at P < 0.05.
All tested procedures led to a significant reduction of bacteral colonization
irrespective of the toothbrush model, the brush head type, or the acitivity state.
Chlorhexidine-based decolonization was shown to be superior to rinsing and slightly
superior to rinsing and drying for 24 h, while UV radiation was similarly effective as
chlorhexidine. UV radiation was slightly less prone to species-dependent limitations of
its decolonizing effects by bristle thickness of toothbrushes than chlorhexidin.
Reduction of bacterial colonization of toothbrushes might reduce the risk of maintaining
bacterial infections of the upper respiratory tract. Accordingly, respective procedures
are advisable, particularly as they are cheap and easy to perform.
bacterial colonization; decolonization; oral hygiene; Staphylococcus aureus; Streptococcus mutans; toothbrush
Dental caries and dental plaque are among the most common diseases worldwide, and are caused by a mixture of microorganisms and food debris. Specific types of acid-producing bacteria, especially Streptococcus mutans, colonize the dental surface and cause damage to the hard tooth structure in the presence of fermentable carbohydrates e.g., sucrose and fructose. This paper reviews the link between S. mutans and caries, as well as different simulation models that are available for studying caries. These models offer a valuable approach to study cariogenicity of different substrates as well as colonization of S. mutans.
Caries; Streptococcus mutans; carbohydrates; simulation; hydroxyapatite; artificial saliva