Scientists are developing a tooth decay vaccine to boost your oral health.
Of course, here at Defacto we are advocates for practicing good oral health and attending regular dental visits. However, if you could give your dental health a head start with a tooth decay vaccine, would you?
Researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIOV) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have been working on such a vaccine, and you can check out the published study in Scientific Reports. The study is led by WIOV scientist Yan Huimin. The researchers tested a fusion of proteins to prevent the development of dental cavities, wish are cause by bacteria (S. mutans).
In previous studies for the tooth decay vaccine, the researchers attempted to protect against caries by fusing the recombinant PAc (rPAc) proteins of S. mutans with the C-terminal of E. coli-derived recombinant flagellin (KF) proteins. We know that was pretty scientific. Although this was effective at protecting against caries, this protein fusion was found to produce unwanted side effects, including possible inflammatory injury.
A second fusion was created.
As a way to lessen these unwanted side effects, the researchers developed KFD2-rPAc, a second-generation of their flagellin-rPAc fusion protein. They tested this version on mice and lab rats. They found that when those without caries received this vaccine, it provided 64.2% with treatment and prevention. In those that had already developed caries, the vaccine produced a 53.9% therapeutic effect. Meaning that the researchers had successfully produced a tooth decay vaccine with fewer side effects.
Tooth Decay is a major issue.
The World Health Organisation has stated that tooth decay and cavities still remain a huge problem across the world, despite oral healthcare advances. A third of all UK children starting school each year have signs of tooth decay. Tooth extractions are the biggest reason children are admitted to hospital for general anaesthetics in the UK. Even adults are guilty, with 31% suffering from decay.
It’s clear that a tooth decay vaccine may be useful in preventing and treating existing tooth decay. However, much more testing will be necessary before a version of this vaccine could be ready for clinical tests. Should this one day be perfected, it could go a long way to helping those far from the reach of advanced health care or where access to basic healthcare is limited. It would also be useful in helping our children, alongside regular dental visits and a good hygiene routine.
Would you opt in for a tooth decay vaccine? Let us know in the comments below! If this article has got you concerned about your own dental health, why not reach out to your perfect local dentist through our website DefactoDentists.com? Just type in your location and we’ll do the rest!