Researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Faculty of Medicine have found a virus, of all things, that may help solve some problems of root canals.
Their research suggests that we can “turn the tables” on post-procedural bacterial infections by utilizing a type of virus called a bacteriophage. Bacteriophage viruses attack bacteria specifically, which offers the possibility that a small dose of virus injected post-treatment could stop bacteria from developing. Antibiotics are the go-to treatment method after oral surgery to keep infections from forming, but widespread use has allowed bacteria to become resistant, and the threat of a pandemic superbug that is resistant to all forms of antibiotics is a very real thing. This virus therapy could solve that problem.
In both tests the researchers have currently performed, the bacteriophage “completely eradicated” the bacteria. It has shown to work well in treating root canal infections both in vitro and ex vivo. In addition, this virus genome doesn’t contain potentially harmful genetics, so if testing continues to go well, this could really become a widespread manner of treating infection.