Enzymes prevent cariogenic biofilm formation on teeth
Rinsing teeth with mannan-degrading enzymes reduces the formation of biofilms from microorganisms – the main cause of tooth decay. Scientists from the United States tested the effect of three enzymes on biofilms composed of Candida albicans and Streptococcus mutants. The enzyme treatment turned out to weaken the bonds between the fungus and the bacteria. Scientists hope to create rinses that prevent biofilm formation. Research published in mBio.
Children often eat carbohydrate-rich foods and do not brush their teeth well. This leads to the emergence of aggressive forms of caries. We have already written that the likelihood of caries formation depends more on the composition of the oral microbiome than on genetic factors. The main microorganisms involved in the development of caries belong to the genera Streptococcus, Candida, Lactobacillus, Actinomyces, Veillonella. Candida albicans can interact with Streptococcus mutants and form biofilms on the surface of teeth. This tandem of fungus and bacteria is common in children and leads to the formation of particularly aggressive biofilms on the surface of the teeth, which are difficult to remove. Treatment with antibacterial and antifungal drugs does not lead to the desired result, since it does not weaken the interaction between bacteria and fungi. Antibiotic treatment also creates antibiotic-resistant strains. For the details, visit dentists Dothan AL
The mechanism of biofilm formation has been extensively studied in recent years, and now researchers understand what can be worked on to reduce their formation. Scientists have found that such a biofilm is created using mannan on the surface of candida, which binds glucosyltransferase, an enzyme of streptococcus. Glucosyltransferase produces extracellular polymeric substances from sucrose, which form the matrix for biofilms. Studies have shown that extracellular polymeric substances increase the number of adhesion sites of streptococcus to the fungus – a dense and resistant biofilm is created. Candida strains in which mannan on the cell surface was defective formed much fewer streptococcal biofilms.
Scientists from the United States, led by Professor G. Hwang from the University of Pennsylvania, decided to develop a method that affects the connections between streptococcus and candida to reduce the formation of biofilms on the teeth. They hypothesized that mannan-degrading enzymes would weaken biofilm bonds. They acted with three enzymes (beta-mannanase, alpha-mannosidase, and beta-mannosidase) on the biofilms on the surface of hydroxyapatite (the mineral constituent of the teeth). Scientists observed the effect under a light microscope.
After five minutes of such exposure, the plaque was much easier to remove, for example, with a regular toothbrush. Another advantage of the method was an increase in the pH of saliva: the environment became less acidic, which means less favorable for the development of caries.
Scientists also calculated the mass of plaque before and after treatment with enzymes. It turned out that after 28 hours, beta-mannanase reduced plaque mass by 2.5 times, and alpha-mannosidase and beta
Enzyme supplementation effect assessed over time
Researchers now face the challenge of reducing the time it takes for enzymes to react to two minutes. They plan to develop mouthwashes that children can use daily.
Not only technologies are being developed to prevent caries, but also to treat them. Recently, British researchers found that an experimental drug for Alzheimer’s disease promotes the natural growth of cavities in the teeth of mice.