Iron-oxide nanoparticle enzyme may help tackle dental plaque build-up

Nov, 2021 - By SMI

Iron-oxide nanoparticle enzyme may help tackle dental plaque build-up

According to a study, an iron-oxide nanoenzyme activates hydrogen peroxide to control the growth of biofilms that cause tooth decay in human mouth.

Iron deficiency anemia is often associated with severe tooth decay that affects large amount of susceptible populations. Current modalities are not enough to fight the rapid accumulation of pathogenic dental biofilms creating the need for new antibiofilm approaches. Now, the scientists at the University of Pennsylvania and Indiana University developed a new technique to fight dental cavities. The team found that an iron-oxide nanoenzyme activates hydrogen peroxide in order to control the growth of biofilms that cause tooth decay.

The team of scientists developed an experimental technique that comprises two primary components; a solution to apply on the teeth and a rinse of hydrogen peroxide that is swished in the mouth and spat out. The solution is already approved by the FDA for treating iron-deficiency anemia, it is known as ferumoxytol, which contains nanoparticles of iron-oxide that act as enzyme. Hence, they are called as nanoenzymes. When the ferumoxytol is applied on the teeth, the nanoenzymes connect to receptors of the cell membranes of bacteria known as Streptococcus mutans that caused cavity. After introducing the hydrogen peroxide rinse, the iron-oxide acts as a catalyst to produce oxidants from hydrogen peroxide. These oxidants rupture the membrane of bacteria and kill them and in addition they break the biofilms of plaque that are created by the bacteria to remove them easily.

According to the team, the teeth or oral tissues are left unharmed in the process and it does not even harm non-target bacteria, as the conversion of hydrogen peroxide occurs only in highly acidic conditions. After testing the treatment in 15 volunteers, it was found that, the participant that performed ferumoxytol/hydrogen peroxide therapy contained much less plaque and S. mutans bacteria than other subjects that were given normal treatments. The scientists denote the treatment can also be used at home with consultation of a dentist.

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