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Vaccine for dental caries: what the experts say about it
Vaccine for dental caries: what the experts say about it
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Vaccination is a major topic during a protracted pandemic. And no, we are not going to talk about the coronavirus today. We asked the expert to tell in more detail about the main innovation of recent years in dentistry - a vaccine that protects teeth from caries. Is this really possible? Find out all the details!

Vaccine for dental caries: what the experts say about it

At first glance, oral diseases are not as scary as the same covid. But why not play ahead and protect your teeth from possible infections? Contents of the article 1. What is caries and how is it dangerous? 2. Vaccine from China: Caries Has No Chance? 3. Mechanism of action 4. Summary Hide

Vladimir Shipkov

Vladimir Shipkov is an expert in the field of dentistry, owner of the dental center Dr. SHIPKOV dental clinic in Moscow

What is caries and how is it dangerous?

Let's start with a very sad fact. According to the World Health Association, approximately 93% of the world's adult population has tooth decay. Such an impressive figure makes this pathological process the most common in the human body.

Caries develops under the influence of a number of factors, the main of which is the excessive activity of acid-forming streptococci (bacteria), which live in large numbers in the oral cavity. In the process of their vital activity, organic acids are formed between the enamel surface and dental plaque and local changes occur, which leads to the destruction of hard tooth tissues and the formation of carious cavities.

If caries is left untreated, the tooth will be completely destroyed. Moreover, with a high degree of probability, the process will be accompanied by complications, such as inflammation of the pulp or periodontal disease.

The constant presence of a large amount of fast carbohydrates in the diet, rare or improper oral hygiene, poor quality and a small amount of saliva are the main factors that contribute to the activation of cariogenic bacteria.

But if there is a problem, there must be a way to prevent it. This is exactly what Chinese scientists thought when they set about creating a vaccine against dental caries.

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Vaccine from China: Caries Has No Chance?

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Not so long ago, virologists from the specialized Wuhan (yes, that very) institute published in Scientific Reports the results of tests of an innovative tool that, judging by the published information, effectively suppresses cariogenic bacteria. It is worth noting that so far the tests were carried out only on rats, but their successful completion gives scientists the right to move on to testing the vaccine on humans, which they promise to do in the near future.

Mechanism of action

The antibacterial properties of the vaccine are based on a special hybrid protein KF-rPAc. The KF protein, obtained from bacteria of another species, provokes an immune response to the rPAc protein, which is located on the membrane surface of cariogenic microorganisms.

Due to this, cariogenic bacteria and other acid-forming streptococci are exposed to a more intense attack by the immune system, which significantly reduces their number in the oral cavity. In fact, the principle of operation of vaccination against caries is no different from the mechanisms of other vaccines. Which means it really works!

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Summary

Of course, the Chinese did not pioneer the creation of a vaccine against tooth decay, and their remedy, without the results of clinical trials in humans, cannot be called a panacea. We'll have to wait until the caries vaccine becomes part of our usual life.

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Scientists have been trying to create something similar for three decades, but so far they have not succeeded. Perhaps the Chinese virologists will be innovators and their efforts in the fight against tooth decay will be crowned with success. But for now, it makes sense to use proven means. Regular professional cleaning (at least every six months), thorough and proper home hygiene using dental floss, mouthwash and tongue scraper in addition to the traditional brush and paste are what really works. As for the vaccine … as they say, time will tell.

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