Penn Faculty Discover An Innovative Potential Treatment for Tooth Decay

Hyun (Michel) Koo, DDS, MS, PhD, a professor in the Department of Orthodontics and in the divisions of Pediatric Dentistry and Community Oral Health and the co-founder of the Center for Innovation & Precision Dentistry at Penn, and David Cormode, DPhil, associate professor of radiology and bioengineering with appointments at Penn Medicine and Penn Engineering, led a study that provides a potential solution for dental caries, also known as tooth decay.

Currently, the traditional treatment for tooth decay is fluoride, which does not control biofilm (the cause of tooth decay) or prevent enamel demineralization.

In search of a more effective treatment, the research team employed a combination of ferumoxytol (Fer) and stannous fluoride (SnF2) to fight tooth decay. The study found that this combination results in the formation of a protective film on tooth enamel, which can act as a shield against further demineralization and does not disrupt the balance of good bacteria in the mouth.

Also, because Fer is over-the-counter and used topically at a low dosage in the treatment, this therapy’s path to practical applications and commercialization may be able to be fast-tracked.

Cormode said in Penn Today: “What excites us most about these findings is the multi-faceted approach to caries prevention. It’s not just about inhibiting bacterial growth or protecting the enamel; it’s a holistic method that targets both the biological and physicochemical aspects of dental caries.”

Read more about this innovative research here.

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