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1.  Research Findings on Xylitol and the Development of Xylitol Vehicles to Address Public Health Needs 
Advances in dental research  2009;21(1):10.1177/0895937409335623.
Xylitol has been demonstrated to be a safe and effective tooth decay preventive agent when used habitually. Nevertheless, its application has been limited by absence of formulations that demand minimal adherence and are acceptable and safe in settings where chewing gum may not be allowed. A substantial literature suggests that a minimum of five to six grams and three exposures per day from chewing gum or candies are needed for a clinical effect. At the same time there is conflicting evidence in the literature from toothpaste studies suggesting that lower-doses and less frequent exposures might be effective. The growing use of xylitol as a sweetener in low amounts in foods and other consumables is, simultaneously, increasing the overall exposure of the public to xylitol and may have additive benefits.
PMCID: PMC3812061  PMID: 19710081
2.  Oral Mucosal Expression of HIV-1 Receptors, Co-receptors, and α-defensins: Tableau of Resistance or Susceptibility to HIV Infection? 
Advances in dental research  2006;19(1):49-51.
PMCID: PMC3750741  PMID: 16672549
HIV-1 receptors; DC-SIGN; HIV-1-co-receptors; CCR5; α-defensin-1; gingiva; human
3.  Opportunities for Disrupting Cariogenic Biofilms 
Advances in dental research  2009;21(1):17-20.
Bacteria adhere to a surface and, through cell division and coordinated expression of gene products, to develop into a structurally-complex population of adherent cells. This process, known as biofilm formation, requires that intrinsic and extrinsic signals are transduced into appropriate gene expression patterns as biofilms mature. Mutational analysis has begun to reveal the complexity of systems used by Streptococcus mutans to ensure proper biofilm formation. These studies have revealed new and unique targets for the design of broadly-effective anti-caries strategies.
PMCID: PMC2853230  PMID: 19710079
4.  Achieving Probiotic Effects via Modulating Oral Microbial Ecology 
Advances in dental research  2009;21(1):53-56.
Unlike many pathogens are foreign invaders, oral “pathogens” such as Streptococcus mutans are part of the “normal” oral microbial flora. While they express certain pathogenic properties, the balance of synergistic and antagonistic interactions determines whether these çommensal pathogens cause damage or not. Recognition of these microbial ecology based pathogeneses argues for new strategies for disease treatment and prevention.
Probiotics, potentially beneficial live bacteria or yeasts, have been used to combat dental caries. This includes the application of S. mutans types that cannot produce acids or other bacteria that interfere with the pathogenic effects of S. mutans. While these approaches show therapeutic effects against S. mutans experimentally, the conversion into commercial products remains a challenge, due to safety and shelf life issues. New high-tech approaches, such as quorum sensing interference of pathogenic bacteria or targeted antimicrobial therapies, offer novel ways to achieve probiotic effects against dental caries.
PMCID: PMC2777612  PMID: 19710082
5.  Genetic and Molecular Characterization of a Dental Pathogen Using Genome-Wide Approaches 
Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans causes periodontitis, a costly chronic infection that affects a large number of patients. The pathogenesis of this dental infection is a multifactorial process that results in a serious degenerative disease of the periodontium. Although significant progress has been achieved after the identification of this gram-negative bacterium as the etiological agent of this infection, much remains to be done to understand in detail the bacterial factors and host-pathogen interactions involved in the pathogenesis of this disease. Classical research approaches have resulted in the identification of important virulence factors and cellular processes, although they have provided a rather narrow picture of some of steps of this complex process. In contrast, a much wider picture could be obtained with the application of tools such as bioinformatics and genomics. These tools will provide global information regarding the differential expression of genes encoding factors and processes that lead to the pathogenesis of this disease. Furthermore, comparative genomics has the potential of helping to understand the emergence and evolution of this human pathogen. This genome-wide approach should provide a more complete picture of the pathogenesis process of this disease, and will facilitate the development of efficient diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic measures for this disease.
PMCID: PMC1262653  PMID: 15126217
A. actinomycetemcomitans; dental pathogen; genomics; bioinformatics; iron metabolism

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