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    The top 10 dental discoveries of 2017

    Dental research came a long way this year, and some studies stood out above the rest.

     

    Green Tea

    Can a green tea extract help prevent cavities?

    Green tea has long been touted for its health benefits. The drink is rich in polyphenols, which have been shown to help slow the growth of bacteria associated with gum disease. Now, researchers in China have discovered that green tea may also prove beneficial in treating tooth sensitivity—and preventing the formation of cavities in those patients.

    hinese researchers noted that a common method of treating tooth sensitivity is by plugging microscopic hollow tubes within dentin with a mineral called nanohydroxyapatite. However, the researchers say that these blocked tubules are generally weak in combating daily tooth erosion and abrasion. In addition, cariogenic bacteria can produce biofilm on the dentin surface, causing caries and compromising the tubules’ sealing efficacy.

    To address this problem, the researchers encapsulated nanohydroxyapatite and a green tea polyphenol, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), in silica nanoparticles, which can reportedly stand up to acid wear and tear. After testing the biomaterial on extracted wisdom teeth, the researchers discovered that it effectively plugged the dentin tubules and released EGCG for at least 96 hours. Furthermore, the material prevented biofilm formation and stood up to tooth erosion and brushing.

    Click here to read the full study.

     

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    Laura Dorr
    Laura Dorr is the executive editor of DPR's Modern Dental Network.

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