A study conducted by a group of scientists from the University of Minnesota, reported that some oral bacteria are able to absorb phosphate from the saliva, which subsequently plays a role in the formation of caries.
The authors argue that accumulations of bacteria in the form of plaque contribute to a decrease in phosphate levels and a change in the chemical composition of saliva.
This assumption made for the first time; it previously believed that bacteria cause caries only by the release of acids from the processing of sugars. It known that at a low concentration of ions of soluble minerals, such as phosphates, the caries develops more actively in the oral cavity.
Researchers from the Department of Dental School of the Department of Children’s Dentistry and the Faculty of Natural Sciences at the College of Science and Engineering wondered whether bacteria could change the composition of mineral ions in the oral cavity.
This idea prompted by another work – on the action of bacteria in the marine environment. It shows that bacteria can act on calcium phosphates (similar to minerals in the teeth) by removing or adding them to seawater, by absorbing and releasing minerals from their own cells. Inside bacteria, phosphates are stored in the form of long polymer chains – polyphosphates.
Researchers from the University of Minnesota in their work have shown that in the plaque there many bacteria that also absorb phosphates from the environment and put in storage inside their cells in the form of polyphosphates, which contributes to the progress of caries.
“To reach this important conclusion, scientists from different fields of science – from oceanography to dentistry – were required,” says Jake Bailey, a lecturer at the Faculty of Natural Sciences. Researchers believe that this discovery will allow in the future developing new products for more effective oral hygiene and new methods of prevention of caries.
“In the future it is planned to determine the factors that influence the solution of bacteria to capture phosphate. It also planned to assess the impact of these chemical changes on the body as a whole, “says the teacher of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry Robert Jones.
“We hope that thanks to the cooperation of the two faculties, we will be able to develop new alternative methods for the prevention and treatment of oral diseases,” says Ashley Briland, the principal author of the work, who teaches at the Faculty of Natural Sciences.