Biofilms grown on rat tooth enamel were broken up by a combination of iron oxide nanoparticles and hydrogen peroxide.
The scientists from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine used a formulation called ferumoxytol, which contains iron oxide nanoparticles coated with carboxymethyl dextran. Fermuoxytol is permitted by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for treating iron deficiency.
The team planned to test the teeth-protecting abilities of these iron oxide nanoparticles because they can break down hydrogen peroxide to develop hydroxyl radicals that can disturb biofilms. The study tested mouthwash therapy involving solutions of ferumoxytol and hydrogen peroxide. They used nanoparticle doses that were below 1% of what is used to treat iron-deficiency.
Over a period of three weeks, the scientists used both solutions twice a day to rinse the mouths of rats with cavities that mimic extreme childhood dental decay. In contrast to animals that did not get the mouthwash, treated rats saw substantial improvements in their dental decay. The mouthwash both stopped the progression of current damage and stopped damage to smooth, healthy teeth.
The method holds promise. In most cases, the only effective way of eradicating a biofilm is physical removal of the infected biomaterial. What’s interesting about this work is the ability of the developed nanoparticles to degrade the biofilm matrix from within.
The health of our teeth and oral cavity is highly dependent on the community of good bacteria living in our mouth. Any nonspecific antibacterial treatment will inevitably affect our good bacteria.
The team is currently involved in developing formulations with higher catalytic activity, and ultimately aims to test the effectiveness of the mouthwash in humans. For outstanding dental care, that is focused on cutting edge techniques and services, contact Dr. Johnson at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners.