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Ascorbate Toothpaste

Get to those nasty little anaerobes with some vitamin C
  [vote for,

Increasing evidence suggests that oral bacteria are linked to diverse health problems. Obvious examples include tooth decay and gingivitis. More interesting is evidence demonstrating that bacteria enter the bloodstream and turn up in odd places. Recently, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Tannerella forsythensis, and Prevotella intermedia were shown to be present in sinovial fluid of rheumatoid arthritis patients, and an animal study showed P.gingivalis in the brains of Alzheimer's model mice, where they induce an immune response that includes amyloid beta proteins.

The mentioned bacteria are all obligate anaerobes that are intolerant to oxygen. The level of intolerance varies but most start having a bad time at 8% or so, a little less than half the standard atmospheric concentration. Now, obligate anaerobes aren't just intolerant to O2, diverse oxygen-derived molecules and powerful oxidants of all kinds are similarly or more toxic. Humans, by contrast, are pretty good at dealing with oxidants.

Now we may form a rationale whereby dangerous anaerobic bacteria may be limited by deliberate application of oxidizing equivalents to the general mouthal environs. Traditionally, mouthwashes and toothpastes focus on alcohol, fluoride and detergents to do their work. Alcohol can be metabolized to dangerous intermediates by anaerobes, fluoride is a glycolysis inhibitor and good at stabilizing calcium deposits like teeth and the calculi that build upon them and SDS solubilizes anything hydrophobic it encounters. Nothing specifically aimed at anaerobes there, as they're mostly hiding out of range.

To counter that, let's build an aggressive aerobic outreach program to reach the parts others cannot. I propose a 2 part system of nice sounding chemicals, namely ascorbate (vitamin C) and menadione (vitamin K3). Ascorbate has a friendly reputation as an antioxidant, however, in an environment of normal oxygen concentration, it exists as an equilibrium of ascorbate anions, ascorbyl radicals, and the further oxidized dehydroascorbate. The latter is particularly good at sneaking through cell membranes disguised as glucose. Mostly, normal cells can cope with this <link>. While anaerobes struggle.

To increase the general effect, menadione, a slightly banned version of vitamin K, is much better at being oxidized by O2, and subsequently forming a cycle from O2 <> menadione <> ascorbate <> dehydroascorbate> anaerobic bacterium. <link>.

This should be particularly nasty for any sensitive anaerobes below the gum line, and a little topical ascorbate can't be a bad thing for repairing the holes in collagen made by the protease secreting anaerobic critters.

bs0u0155, Feb 18 2019

Ascorbate, just fine for normal cells https://www.ncbi.nl...gov/pubmed/27036367
[bs0u0155, Feb 18 2019]

O2 menadione ascorbate redox cycle https://pubs.rsc.or...01519g#!divAbstract
[bs0u0155, Feb 18 2019]

10 minutes of air kills anerobic bacteria https://www.encyclo...-bacteria-culture-0
[beanangel, Feb 19 2019]


       I read "Obligate anaerobes are destroyed when exposed to the atmosphere for as briefly as 10 minutes" [link]. I do not know if the oxygen you would describe would last long enough.
beanangel, Feb 19 2019

       Gargling with liquid oxygen should solve a lot of your problems, then.
8th of 7, Feb 19 2019

       //a slightly banned version of vitamin K//   

       OK, I'm intrigued.
pertinax, Feb 19 2019

       Not Acrobatic Toothpaste then?
xenzag, Feb 19 2019

       //lox gargle//   

       Liquid nitrogen would be even better.
neelandan, Feb 20 2019

       Would liquid Helium make your gargle more high pitched?   

       Nature loves it's dynamic web of evolution but i don't know whether three Vitamin C infused brushes a day, counts. Do anaerobic bacteria get a run on their vacuoles before they die?
wjt, Feb 20 2019

       How about ascorbate chewing gum, for a longer-lasting effect?
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 20 2019

       The combination of vitamin C and menadione has also been investigated for use against prostate cancer, according to Wikipedia's article on the latter, though it doesn't mention the results. If they were good, that could be another selling point for this toothpaste.
notexactly, Feb 23 2019

       //Obligate anaerobes are destroyed when exposed to the atmosphere for as briefly as 10 minutes// so stand with your mouth wide open for 10 mins a few times a day?
pocmloc, Feb 23 2019

       Don't overdo that—if you have your mouth open all the time, your teeth will get dry and you'll get cavities, apparently.
notexactly, Feb 24 2019

       Balancing a balance on underlining balances, until something is overloaded, underloaded or fulcrums aren't cleaned properly and we die.
wjt, Feb 24 2019

       Those are wise words, [wjt], whatever they mean.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 24 2019

       Thing is, words just mean.
wjt, Feb 26 2019


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