London: Brushing teeth with an enzyme extracted from a bacteria found in seaweed could be more effective than toothpaste in the fight against tooth decay, a British study has found.
Scientists from Newcastle University used an enzyme isolated from marine bacterium Bacillus licheniformis, which they were originally researching for its use in cleaning ship hulls, the Daily Mail reported.
The scientists say the enzyme can “cut through” plaque on teeth and clean hard-to-reach areas.
Nicholas Jakubovics of the university’s School of Dental Sciences said better products offering more effective dental treatment can be made using the enzyme.
“This enzyme can cut through the plaque or layer of bacteria and we want to harness this power into a paste, mouthwash or denture cleaning solution,” Jakubovics said.
“Plaque on your teeth is made up of bacteria which join together to colonise an area in a bid to push out any potential competitors. Traditional toothpastes work by scrubbing off the plaque containing the bacteria, but that’s not always effective,” he said.