A better understanding of dental microbiology can help you halt the growth of tough pathogens in your patients mouths, resulting in better overall oral health.
Deep below the gum line, where no dental equipment or laser can reach, lives a complex community of bacteria and fungi, whose activities can either promote the health of their host or lead to tissue damage and destruction.6 How can we promote the health of our patients’ dental microbiology, and what determines a healthy outcome versus an eventual tooth extraction?
As a microbiologist, having worked on environmental and healthcare-related microbial biofilms since 1998, I can attest to their durability, dynamism and complexity. It turns out that antibiotics, antiseptics, detergents, ozone, enzymes and physical scaling/planing only make a slight dent in affecting the subgingival biofilm.4 The secrets to biofilm management are much easier than killing the microbes. Rule number one – it is easier to influence the microbial strains that call the biofilm home. Rule number two – the easiest factor to influence is what these strains eat.5,7
Pathogens – they’re tougher than you think
We are all taught about the pathogens, such as Porphyromonas gingivalis, Treponema denticola, Catonella morbi, and others that activate the innate immune system and wreak havoc on the periodontal ligament and the gingival tissue. These organisms have a diverse repertoire of defense mechanisms that make them difficult to effectively combat with ozone, antibiotics, antiseptics and enzymes.6 Surrounding the periodontal ligament, neurons, and blood vessels, they are too deep to be lasered or scraped away.
The biggest side effect of these approaches is that the beneficial, health-promoting commensal microbes that also inhabit the subgingival biofilm are really sidelined and unable to do their job of limiting pathogens, regulating healthy immunity and helping to maintain gingival integrity of their host.1-3
An innovative solution
So, what can you do to help your clients? Believe it or not, the most effective approach is to affect what the dental biofilm can eat. We have been working on an approach for harmful biofilms for over 13 years with demonstrated clinical success in humans and pets. Our approach, Selective Microbial Metabolism Regulation Technology (SMMRT)®, uses clinically-validated molecular nutrition to apply nutrient pressure to microbes in a biofilm – specifically designed to: (i) selectively favor the growth of beneficial microbes in the mouth and subgingiva, and (ii) to halt pathogen growth and the production of pathogenic factors that are driven by sugar fermentation. The end result can be best demonstrated in non-toxic dental pathogen reduction (Figure 1) with positive clinical outcomes (Figures 2), ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03693027, and for dogs (Figure 3).
For more information on dental microbiology and SMMRT, visit teefhealth.com.