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dental caries vaccine

groundhog

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    Have any of you professionals any thoughts on the dental caries vaccine that is mentioned on the web site asdasnet.org? I'm not a professional, so after reading the topic, I'm a bit concerned. The vaccine will be in the form of a topical application. It does nothing to aid ones immune system in combating the bacteria that contribute to dental caries. Instead, it directly impacts said bacteria and diminishes their ability to colonize on teeth.

    My concern is this. Could this be a case of unnecessary overkill that might lead to undesireable consequences? From what I understand, effective preventive treatment for dental caries is presently available. The main problem is that people fail to inact all the necessary steps of such treatment(proper diet, regular dental checkups , sealants, orthodontics, proper brushing, flossing etc).

    What could happen if the vaccine begins to be used? Could it prompt the evolution of the targeted bacteria enabling it to become resistant to the vaccine and much more aggressive? Could people be lulled into a false sense of security? Thinking they have found the magic bullet would they forget about diet, dental hygiene, and checkups which would still be advisable for the prevention or early detection of more serious oral problems than dental caries?

    Well, my thoughts arose because of what I have been told about the development of a vaccine for chicken pox. Basically, such a vaccine would be unnecessary overkill that could also lead to undesired consequences. What are the professional opinions on this issue? Thank you for your time and consideration.
     

    Djanaba

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      My friend, the chicken pox vaccine has been marketed successfully for a while now. And it is *not* overkill, as anyone who has experienced shingles can tell you. Theoretically, if you never get chicken pox because you are vaccinated, the virus will never set up latency in your spinal nerve roots, and you'll never get shingles or other secondary effects of a varicella infection. I will have no problem recommending this to my patients.

      I agree that the "vaccine" you talk about it's a vaccine at all, and I am appalled at the flippant usage of the word. It's a massive dose of antibiotics, topically, from what it sounds like. This may be mildly beneficial for, say, heart patients (who receive antibiotic prophylaxis just in case the bugs that live in the depths of one's gums enter the circulation if a break in the oral mucosa is made -- these bugs love to take up residence and cause endocarditis in selected patients). But would this product really abolish said bugs in the mouth? The critters are in the recesses even brushes and floss don't always reach. My guess: I doubt it. As presented, it seems that this is a superfluous product... any links to solid info out there?
       

      groundhog

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        Djanaba,
        Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. This forum provides a lot of different opportunities to people. But one of functions I appreciate most is the ability to get advice on serious matters from the professionals who know the facts about the issues.

        P.S. I know of no other web site that features the so called "dental caries vaccine". I learned of it by monitoring another site popular with some pre-dental students (www.predental.com).

        [This message has been edited by groundhog (edited 03-15-2001).]
         
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        kris

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          Djanaba,

          Can you say more about the chicken pox vaccine? I have a virology final tomorrow, and my prof said that it's still an open question whether the vaccine causes shingles. He seemed to suggest it's a real concern right now. I've learned not to take everything my profs say as necessarily being the truth, so I was wondering what your source was that indicates there's no possibility for latency to set up.
          Thanks,
          Kris
           

          Toran

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            I've often wondered about a vaccine, or at least a treatment for caries. However, as to now I have heard nothing about even a possibility of treatment. Keep on looking, it sounds like this one isn't going to work.

            Toran
             
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