Photo Credit: Asher Schwartz

A team of Israeli-led researchers have identified a naturally occurring molecule that reduces the biofilm which produces plaque and causes cavities. The molecule could be added to toothpastes and mouthwashes, the researchers said.

The researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheva working with colleagues at Sichuan University in Chengdu and the National University of Singapore found that the molecule 3,3′-Diindolylmethane (DIM) — also known as bisindole — disrupted biofilm formation by 90% and therefore bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans were not given a chance to grow and attack enamel.


The findings were published earlier this month in the peer-reviewed journal Antibiotics.

“The molecule, which was found to have low toxicity, could be added to toothpastes and mouthwashes to greatly improve dental hygiene,” said lead author Professor Ariel Kushmaro of the Avram and Stella Goldstein-Goren Department of Biotechnology Engineering at Ben-Gurion.

Kushmaro is also a member of the Ilse Katz Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology and the Goldman Sonnenfeldt School of Sustainability and Climate Change.

The study was conducted with Kushmaro’s student Yifat Baruch along with Dr. Karina Golberg and Professor Robert S. Marks, as well as Qun Sun of Sichuan University and Karina Yew-Hoong Gin of the National University of Singapore.


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