Could Seaweed Hold a key to Better Dental Health?
Posted September 15, 2014 by Wager-Evans Dental
Did you enjoy plenty of beach time this summer? If so, it’s possible you’ve dealt with your fair share of seaweed. Sometimes, stepping on seaweed can be an unpleasant irritation with the slimy, squishy sensation on the bottoms of your feet and between your toes. If you knew that seaweed had an enzyme called Bacillus licheniformis which could be good for your teeth, would you feel a bit differently about the compound? Researchers have begun to isolate this enzyme with the intent of using it as a cleaner for ship hulls, to surprising results. Newcastle University scientists in England ended up finding a completely surprising potential for the enzyme. Reno dentists, Dr. William Wager and Dr. Brian Evans, will explain the link between seaweed and oral health.
Brushing your teeth with a toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association (ADA) is one way to keep your teeth as free of plaque as possible between dental checkups. Hopefully you are fully aware that even if you have diligent oral hygiene habits and you visit your dentist every six months for a thorough cleaning, there are still plenty of cracks and crevices between teeth that are easy to inadvertently neglect. According to the research team, seaweed microbes could potentially be used as an additive to mouthwash and toothpaste to add extra protection against cavities by literally stripping away the bacteria from plaque.
The scientists are eager to implement further testing to discern definitive dental benefits of Bacillus licheniformis. Another known use for the compound is cleaning medical implants such as artificial hips and speech valves. Anything which succumbs to bacteria laden biofilms similar to plaque can potentially benefit from seaweed extracts. Dr. Nicholas Jakubovics of Newcastle University’s School of Dental Sciences says, “Work in a test tube has shown that this enzyme can cut through the plaque or layer of bacteria and we want to harness this power into a paste, mouthwash or denture cleaning solution.”