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Polygence Scholar2022
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Whoba Ugochukwu Whoba

Bromsgrove schoolClass of 2022Dallas, Texas



  • "Traditional Herbal vs Modern Conventional dental practice: A Quantitative study on the comparative antibacterial effect of chewing stick and toothpaste." with mentor Blake (Oct. 19, 2022)

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Traditional Herbal vs Modern Conventional dental practice: A Quantitative study on the comparative antibacterial effect of chewing stick and toothpaste.

Started May 23, 2022

Abstract or project description

Oral disease is a major health problem with dental caries being among one of the most preventable global infections. It has been previously found that there are qualities of antibacterial resistance in harmful oral bacteria due to the repeated use of dental toothpaste. More prominently, some developing countries still do possess the economic stability to ensure the provision of healthcare products such as toothpaste and toothbrushes as this can be expensive. For this reason, there is a need for an alternative form of oral healthcare. There is preliminary research suggesting that the stem and barks of certain plants found in Africa have anti-cariogenic and antibiotic properties as well as reasonable levels of fluoride. Research by Dr Allan Davison of the University of Newcastle proved that 5 types of chewing stick plants used by the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria had a range of 2.3 – 17.2 μg/g of fluoride in the bark. Also, organic fluorides have been found in Acacia. Moreover, a study by Olsson in Asella, Ethiopia proved that some plants used as chewing sticks are as effective as conventional toothpaste and toothbrushes. The study would be comparing the antibacterial properties of 3 chewing sticks (namely, Garcinia kola, Vitellaria Paradoxa & Terminalia glaucescens) against oral bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus & Candida albicans) in comparison to toothpaste to determine which was more effective using standard microbiology protocols after which I combined the most effective chewing stick and the toothpaste to examine for any synergetic effect between the chewing sticks and toothpaste. Aqueous extracts of the chewing sticks were emulsified and placed in Petri dishes with common dental bacterial cultures. Zones of inhibition will be measured for each sample and then compared with toothpaste. MIC was also tested to determine the strength of the bacterial inhibition of each compound. Interestingly, the Garcinia kola proved to be the most effective of all the chewing sticks and the most comparable to the toothpaste. This may be due to the chemical composition of the Garcinia kola chewing stick. These results demonstrate that some plant species could be on par with toothpaste and toothbrushes, in this case, Garcinia kola, this could provide a more eco and economically friendly method of maintaining oral hygiene.