Researchers have started looking at natural antibacterial compounds to treat periodontal disease. In this study, Canadian researchers wanted to see if blueberry polyphenols, which work against foodborne pathogens, could also help fight Fusobacterium nucleatum, one of the main species of bacteria associated with periodontitis (J Agric Food Chem, July 24, 2015, Vol. 63:31, pp. 6999-7008).
The researchers tested extracts from the wild lowbush blueberry, Vaccinium angustifolium Ait., against F. nucleatum. The polyphenol-rich extracts were able to inhibit the growth of F. nucleatum, as well as its ability to form biofilms. It also blocked a molecular pathway involved in inflammation, a key aspect of peridontal disease.
The researchers are developing an oral device that could slowly release the extract after deep cleaning to help treat periodontitis.
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