This killer combination takes a bite out of caries

The combination of ferumoxytol, an iron replacement, and stannous fluoride may eliminate dental caries in high-risk patients, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ferumoxytol stabilizes stannous fluoride and together they form a protective film on tooth enamel, which may shield against further demineralization. Furthermore, the combination didn’t disrupt the oral microbiota and had no side effects on surrounding tissues, according to an animal study recently published in Nature Communications

“This approach could be targeted for high-risk individuals prone to cariogenic biofilm accumulation without increasing the risk of fluoride overexposure,” wrote the authors, led by Dr. Hyun Koo of Biofilm Research Labs, Levy Center for Oral Health, at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in Philadelphia.

Since children with severe tooth decay often have anemia, this therapy also may be helpful for those with iron deficiencies. The addition of the iron replacement may treat both health problems simultaneously, according to the study.

Though more studies are needed to determine the mechanisms of interaction between fluoride and ferumoxytol, the reactive oxygen species generation process, and the formation and efficacy of the protective enamel film, the therapy may transition to clinical applications sooner rather than later, the authors wrote.

“The findings that an off-the-shelf iron oxide nanoparticle formulation has a potent topical effect at a fraction (<0.2%) of the approved systemic dosage together with low dose of SnF2 that operates through complementary mechanisms of action can facilitate its path to clinical translation,” Koo and colleagues wrote.

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