Written by Dentistry Today Tuesday, 03 May 2011 14:46
Information from a facility that works with electrons could lead to the eventual prevention of tooth decay.
At Diamond Light Source in Oxfordshire England, a 3-D structure allowed the researchers to find an important enzyme involved with tooth decay. Diamond Light Source is a research center that accelerates electrons to close to the speed of light.
The enzyme discovered forms glucan, which is a substance that contains bacteria that forms on the surface of teeth. When the bacterium eventually forms, it secretes an acid that destroys the enamel of the teeth.
Since the researchers now have a 3-D model of the enzyme, it will enable them to gather more information in a much easier fashion.
Dentists in the United Kingdom worked with dentists from Japan to understand the enzyme as well as possible. The enzyme is known as GTF-SI.
With this information, the goal is to generate new products to prevent tooth decay, such as various toothpastes and mouthwashes. If the new products are created, they can be tailored to the ways they would be most effective based on the research related to this enzyme.
The Diamond Light Source was created for the purpose of enhancing academic and industry-related research.