Blasting Dental Plaque With Microbubbles

Whether through an accident or a disease, teeth loss can cause many inconveniences. Dental implants such as crowns, however, have allowed people to overcome most of these and live a better quality of life.

But just like normal teeth, these dental implants require proper care and oral hygiene to prevent further complications, such as the inflammation of the tissues surrounding the implants. While the buildup of dental plaque sticks mainly to the crown, it also adheres to the exposed parts of the screw that holds the dental fixture in place, and these are much harder to clean because they contain microgrooves that make them fit better into the upper or lower jaw bones.

Hitoshi Soyama from Tohoku University and his team from Showa University in Japan conducted a study to look for better ways for dentists to remove this plaque and prevent complications. The team wanted to study the efficiency of a cavitating jet, where high-speed fluid is injected by a nozzle through water to create very tiny bubbles of vapor. When these bubbles collapse, they produce strong shockwaves that are able to remove contaminants.

The Cavitating Jet

The team compared the cleaning effect of a cavitating jet to that of a water jet, which has been used for a long time to remove plaque from dental implants to keep them clean. They grew a biofilm over three days within the mouths of four volunteers, then proceeded to clean that with the two different methods, measuring the amount of plaque remaining at several time intervals.

While there was little difference between the amounts of dental plaque removed by both methods after one minute of cleaning, that changed after longer exposure. After three minutes, the cavitating jet had removed about a third more plaque than the water jet did, leaving little plaque stuck to the implant at the end of the experiment. The cavitating jet was also able to remove the plaque not only from the root section of the screws, but also from the harder-to-reach crest section, though to a lesser extent.

“Conventional methods cannot clean plaques on the surface of dental implants very well, so this new method could give dentists a new tool to better manage these fixtures which are becoming more common,” says Soyama.

Previous research has shown that water flow exerts shear stress to remove the biofilm. In addition to this shear effect, the cavitating jet also produces a considerable force when the bubbles collapse that is able to remove particles from the biofilm and carry them away. The researchers suggest that the two processes probably work in synergy to make the cavitating jet superior to the water jet when cleaning the plaque off the irregular surface of dental implants.

How To Remove Plaque From Teeth

The importance of proper and thorough oral care is unprecedented. The health of our teeth, gums and mouth is essential for a myriad of reasons. While all of us do get plaque, our own dental hygiene regimen determines how easily that plaque can be eradicated.

Plaque is the soft, sticky film that starts to build up on your teeth and against your gums. When teeth aren’t cleaned properly, layers of plaque can start to transform into what’s called tarter, ands this is often a cause for gum disease and other troublesome issues. Here are some natural ways you can remove plaque from your teeth.

Oil Pulling

While it’s obvious that dental hygiene should always include consistent brushing and flossing, there are other methods that are incredibly effective for eliminating plaque. Oil pulling is a practice that has been around for centuries as a way to properly support oral health. The oil helps to remove plaque from the teeth. One of the best oils you can use for this is coconut oil. This oil is both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory and is perfect for sticking to those deposits of plaque and neutralizing the bacteria that causes plaque to begin with.


That’s right, this fruit may be exactly what your teeth and gums need. There are anti-plaque agents within guava that help to rid the accumulation of plaque on your teeth. A study conducted by the Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences found that guava leaf extract contributed to a reduction of plaque. The leaf and the fruit are naturally antibacterial and can inhibit biofilm which is what causes the appearance of plaque.

Aloe Vera

While many people are aware of the positive effects that this component has on the skin, it can actually be a fantastic dental aid as well. Aloe vera is known to be a great way to fight gum disease by eliminating both plaque and hardened tarter. It’s also a great way to ensure fresh breath. Just rub the pulp of the aloe vera leaf over the gums and bottom of the teeth, letting it sit for at least 10 minutes and then brush teeth as normal. You will have your teeth battling less and less plaque the more you use this method.

Orange Peel Oil

Many don’t realize that the peels of some fruits are actually just as beneficial as the nectar itself. This is definitely the case with oranges. Orange peels successfully break down the plaque that often covers the enamel of the teeth. Also, the vitamin C component is able to prevent certain microorganisms from forming on or around your teeth. While fresh orange peels are the best option for this method, they aren’t necessarily very practical. Because of this, the orange peel oil is the next best option. Just rubbing some on the gums and at the bottom of the teeth before you brush them will do so much to dissolve pockets of plaque that lurk in hard-to-reach places.

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