What Does Seaweed Have to Do with Your Dental Health?

When you think of seaweed, you probably imagine clips from the Discovery Channel with hordes of fish hiding for their lives or carrying on with fish business, or maybe you imagine your last vacation to the beach where slimy green sea flora washed up on the shore. However, have you ever imagined seaweed as an active ingredient in toothpaste? This is exactly the vision some scientists currently pursue, as they discover more information about a cavity-fighting enzyme in seaweed. Our Farmington Hills dentist, Dr. Aziza Askari, will explain their findings and what this could mean for the future of dental health.

How Plaque Attacks Teeth

As boats pass through the ocean, they accumulate a variety of microorganisms and biofilm that attach themselves to the boat’s hull. Sometimes these organisms can actually damage the ships, which is why researchers were seeking a cure for dispersing these microbes. What they found instead, was an enzyme to fight plaque. What does plaque have to do with biofilm on ships? Like the microbes that accumulate on ship hills, plaque latches onto our teeth. Plaque provides a safe haven for bacteria and pathogens to grow under the radar of dental hygiene. As plaque builds up along your teeth and gums, the bacteria threaten your oral health with tooth decay and gum disease.

How Seaweed Attacks Plaque

According to Gizmodo.com, a research group from the School of Marine Science and Technology at Newcastle University discovered an enzyme derived from bacillus licheniformis inside the seaweed. In collaboration with the School of Dental Sciences’ professor, Dr. Nicholas Jakubovics, researchers found plaque-fighting abilities inherent in the seaweed enzyme. The enzyme breaks down plaque, dispersing bacteria and ultimately improving oral health. While the enzyme is still in clinical trials, researchers hope that the seaweed enzyme will be added to toothpastes, mouthwashes, dentures cleaners, and other oral hygiene products in the future.

Preventive Dentistry in Farmington Hills

At Comfort Dental Spa, we love sharing new information about exciting developments in dentistry. For more information about maintaining optimal oral health, contact our Farmington Hills dentist, Dr. Aziza Askari. Call Comfort Dental Spa at (248) 474-6434 to schedule a dental checkup or cleaning. We serve patients from Dearborn, Novi, Livonia, Farmington Hills, and the surrounding Detroit neighborhoods.