Scientists have come up with a silver-bullet treatment for hard-to-treat mouth infections.
Infections caused by yeasts are killed by silver-based solutions that might provide an effective mouthwash to prevent and treat them, according to a new study by University of Minho researchers.
The study, published in the journal Letters in Applied Microbiology, found silver nanoparticles killed common yeast infections -- caused by Candida albicans and Candida glabrata – that typically strike people who are very young, old or have immune-system problems, such as those with HIV/AIDS.
The yeast infections, which were killed in laboratory experiments, cause oral thrush and dental stomatitis -- a painful infection affecting 70 percent of denture wearers. They are notoriously difficult to treat and often don’t respond to drugs or other therapies.
“With the emergence of Candida infections which are frequently resistant to the traditional antifungal therapies, there is an increasing need for alternative approaches,” researchers wrote. “So, silver nanoparticles appear to be a new potential strategy to combat these infections. As the nanoparticles are relatively stable in liquid medium they could be developed into a mouthwash solution in the near future.”
Investigators also said the study could pave the way for the use of silver nanoparticles in dentures, which could prevent infections.