West Side Story In Your Mouth

Friday, February 10th, 2012, 8:15 pm

The gangs in West Side Story entertain with beautiful music but the gangs of oral bacteria in our mouths are bent on destruction. It seems that some of our oral bacteria gang up with other types to cause gum disease and tooth loss. A new study published in the journal Microbiology discovered a way to stop potential gang members from joining forces.

The oral bacteria join together to form dental plaque, a nasty mixture of bacteria, saliva and food debris, which is the main cause of gum disease and inflammation. Left untreated this leads to progressively worsening periodontal disease and eventual tooth loss.

Researchers from the University of Bristol found a molecule on the surface of a certain type of bacteria that allows it to latch onto other types of bacteria. Blocking this mechanism could lead to new therapies for stopping dental plaque from destroying gum tissue. “If a drug could be developed to target this factor, it could be used in people who are at higher risk from developing gum disease” said lead researcher Dr. Howard Jenkinson.

Hopefully the scientists will be able to bring a treatment like this to our patients. Until then, if you want to continue singing “I Feel Pretty” from the West Side Story soundtrack you will need to brush, floss and visit your dental hygienist for professional cleanings on a regular basis.

Don’t let oral bacteria gang up on you. To schedule your next dental hygiene visit please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA at 706-886-9439 today.


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Category: gum disease

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