New Material may Fight Cavities, Gum Disease



Graphene oxide may solve many dental problems.

This material happens to be effective at eliminating certain bacteria in the mouth that developed antibiotic resistance over time. The information appears in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

Dentists often prescribe traditional antibiotics to eliminate bacteria that cause tooth decay or gum disease. With the increase in antibiotic resistance, however, new approaches are needed to handle the problems, which may result in tooth loss.

Previous studies have shown that graphene oxide is a promising material in biomedical applications. The material has the ability to thwart the growth of some bacterial strains without causing much harm to the cells in mammals. The researchers also analyzed the material to see the impact on the specific bacteria that produces dental disease.

The research team specifically looked at the material and the result of tests with different species of bacteria associated with tooth decay and gum disease. They concluded that graphene oxide limited the growth of pathogens by destroying the bacterial walls and membranes. For this reason, the researchers thought this material would be useful in dentistry.

Some funding for this study came from the Shanghai Natural Science Foundation and the Hospital-Public Cross-Link Project of Shanghai Jiao Tong University.