April 16, 2009

Method reveals bacteria near braces

U.S. researchers found a new method effectively revealed the amount of bacteria in plaque near braces.

The study, published in American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, also found certain orthodontic appliances, or braces, were more prone to bacteria.

Researchers from Portland's Oregon Health & Science University found a biochemical technique that measured adenosine triphosphate driven bioluminescence was a reliable chair-side tool to rapidly quantify oral bacteria and aid assessing oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment.

The randomized clinical study counted bacterial colonies using both conventional plating techniques and the adenosine triphosphate-driven bioluminescence technique in 14 patients age 11-17. Each patient had both types of appliances -- self-ligating and elastomeric orthodontic brackets -- on opposing sides of the mouth.

We were surprised that the manner of ligation promoted differences in the levels of plaque bacteria surrounding the bonded tooth surfaces, principal investigator Curt Machida said in a statement. "Our results suggest that the use of the self-ligating appliances promote reduced retention of plaque bacteria on tooth surfaces surrounding the appliances.