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Scientists develop mouthwash with oregano

Scientists develop mouthwash with oregano

Specialists from the National University of San Luis (UNSL) are working on the development of an oregano-based mouthwash that prevents the formation of cavities. Although the research is in the laboratory phase and has not yet been tested on people, evidence indicates that this spice, commonly used as a condiment, prevents the growth of streptococcus mutans, the main microorganism associated with dental disease. For this, the scientists obtained a minimum inhibitory concentration that acts on the tooth.

“We evaluated oregano extract and its effect on healthy teeth. Laboratory tests show that it attacks the most common microorganism associated with the formation of cavities.”, points Maria Alejandra Bertellostudent of Biotechnology, whose final thesis is part of the project led by Alba Vega, director of the Department of Biochemistry at UNSL.

Although plants specially cultivated for this purpose are thought of, Scientists use oregano, which can be found loose in any diet or packaged in the supermarket.. To obtain the extract, boil distilled water, add 10 grams of the herb and let it rest for ten minutes. Then, they separate the solid residues to keep the liquid and, through a chemical process where the water is extracted, they obtain the powder. Once the procedure is done, they add water to reach the desired concentration. Finally, they filter the product using a special method to eliminate possible bacteria and preserve its properties.

Economical and easily accessible

The first step was to determine the minimum inhibitory concentration. So we started working with healthy teeth and we saw that oregano sticks to the surface of the tooth and prevents the adhesion of the microorganism that later develops caries”, he highlights. Andrea Arismendi Sosaco-director of the investigation.

Oregano is a readily available natural herb that is grown domestically and is inexpensive.. Because it contains antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, scientists have used it for different investigations. In fact, Before applying it to caries prevention, they worked on the inhibitory effect of a bacteria associated with gastrointestinal diseases such as ulcers.. “The study of these natural compounds is important and it is a waste to use oregano just to add flavor to food”, points out Bertello.

Caries is the lesion with the highest oral prevalence. They appear in the form of stains and, if not treated by professionals, they make holes in the surface of the tooth until they reach its interior. Although they don’t bother you at first, in the long run they can cause pain and be the gateway to other diseases. In this regard, Bertello warns: “The loss of a tooth affects the quality of life in many ways, from the way we chew to the way we relate to other people.. If we’re missing a tooth, we might not smile or avoid talking like we would if we had all the pieces.”

The team is currently evaluating the effect of oregano extract on the expression of certain genes in mutans streptococci.. The final step is the formulation of the mouthwash with the already specified minimum inhibitory concentration and the addition of other components for its preparation.

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