Scientists Find Tooth Protection in Seaweed Microbe

July 6, 2012

The seaweed microbe appears to be able to reach plaque that is normally out of the reach of toothpastes.

Newcastle University scientists have identified a seaweed microbe that can prevent the buildup of plaque on teeth and dentures.

Scientists were originally investigating the seaweed bacterium, Bacillus licheniformis, for its ability to remove microbes from the surface of ships, but soon realized additional potential for removing microbes from the oral environment.

“It’s an amazing phenomenon,” said lead scientist Grant Burgess. “The enzyme breaks up and removes the bacteria present in plaque and, importantly, it can prevent the build up of plaque, too.”

The seaweed microbe appears to be able to reach plaque that is normally out of the reach of toothpastes. Newcastle University reports that the team is now seeking industry collaboration to develop oral care products using the seaweed microbe.