Thomson, Dr. Joshua

Title of Research Project:

Characterization of the bactericidal and biofilm removal properties of natural substances on oral biofilms.

Research Description:

In the current era of antibiotic resistance, we are in great need of new substances that have antimicrobial properties. The use of natural substances and the bacteriophages for treatment of diseases is on the rise. The aim of this research project is to investigate and define the ability of various natural substances, including bacteriophage, to kill and remove bacteria associated with dental plaque biofilms. Biofilms that form on teeth, called plaque, produce acid that leads to the breakdown of the enamel surface leading to the disease caries, better known as cavities or tooth decay. This disease is extremely common worldwide and can lead to tooth loss. Uncontrolled oral biofilms can be treated with antibiotics but constant use of antibiotics can contribute to antibiotic resistance. Therefore, our goal is to use the model dental pathogen, Streptococcus mutans, as well as orally derived biofilms, to test the killing and biofilm removal properties of natural substances.