Have Researchers Found the Next Great Anti-Bacterial?

4343795614_3989d088cc_oPeriodontitis (gum disease) affects millions of people worldwide. In the USA alone, a 2012 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report sites almost half of adults suffer from some form of periodontal disease or gingival bleeding.

What usually happens in the case of gum disease?

Traditional treatment of periodontitis involves the use of antibiotics and antiseptics to reduce or halt the bacterial culprits. While this is certainly effective, antibiotic use comes with some drawbacks: it can be hard to find the “right” antibiotic for the microbial trouble-maker, the numbers of drug-resistant bacteria are increasing, and antibiotics can adversely affect the patient whom dentists are trying to help!

But we might have a whole new weapon in this fight…

Enter Ozone Nano Bubble Water, or NBW3 (wondering about the 3? Ozone is a reactive combination of 3 Oxygen molecules, or O3). This new substance, which works as a powerful antiseptic, was developed by researchers from Tokyo Medical and Dental University and Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. Results from their new study were just released.

What did researchers learn?

The scientists used in vitro studies to analyze the effectiveness of NBW3 as an antimicrobial agent against the two primary bacterial strains linked to periodontitis, and to see how NBW3 affects people.

Results showed that while NBW3 kills bacteria after only 30 seconds of exposure, the human tissues (the trial used oral tissue cells in vitro) were unharmed until about 24 hours of exposure.

What does this mean for dentistry?

The study results look positive for the potential use of ozone nano bubble water to fight periodontitis, but researchers have some more work to do. Because the study was in vitro, their next step will be to learn what the possible effects of NBW3 could be on real, living tissue. For example, in vitro testing does not allow scientists to observe saliva’s diluting effects on NBW3 action.

However, researchers and the medical community alike are hopeful that NBW3 will prove to be a safe and effective treatment for gum disease. In addition to its swift decimation of the two bacteria strains targeted as causing periodontitis, NBW3 has antimicrobial activity that can also attack fungi, viruses, and protozoa— without inducing resistance.

Curious about learning more? So are we.

At Bethany Family Dental, we’re committed to providing our patients with the highest quality of care– and comfort. That’s why we’re always reading about new information and science that could impact dentistry; we have a clear mission to serve you, and we pride ourselves in staying on top of our game!

Bring your questions with you on your next visit with Dr. Austria! We look forward to seeing you.

Photo Credit: ELISE communications via Compfight cc