Currently, regular visits to the dentist are important. We go as much as possible to maintain our oral health and things generally go over well, right?
That being said, tooth decay seems to be a big issue for a lot of people. So much so that researchers from the Wuhan Institution of Virology (WIOV) are working on a tooth decay vaccine to help fight it and boost oral health in general. They recently were able to publish a study in the journal Scientific Reports that explains this in more detail.
This research is being led by scientist Yan Huimin whose team tested a fusion of proteins in an attempt to prevent the development of dental caries or cavities. These were caused by the bacteria Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans).
Chinese researchers have attempted in the past to protect people against caries through fusing the recombinant PAc (rPAc) proteins of S. mutans with the C-terminal of E. coli-derived recombinant flagellin (KF) proteins. That method while effective seemed to have far too many unwanted side effects.
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In an attempt to reduce these negative effects researchers developed the second generation of their flagellin-rPAc fusion protein this tooth decay vaccine was given to mice who did not have caries and showed intended results in about 64 percent. It also proved effective in mice that had developed caries already around 54 percent.
While this sort of thing is quite promising, much more research will need to be done in order to determine if a version of this should ever be clinically tried.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), dental cavities are one of the biggest major health problems in industrialized countries even with oral health care. That being said, even if this vaccine made it all the way through and was put to use, it would not be a replacement for regular dental care. What do you think about this possible vaccine?