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Dentures may be teeming with MRSA superbugs

London, Sun, 08 Apr 2012 ANI

London, Apr 8 (ANI): Dentures may not be as clean as they look as they could be contaminated with killer bugs like MRSA, a new study has revealed.

Researchers have advised that putting infected false teeth in a microwave oven for three minutes makes them safe.

Dentures are known to get covered with thin layers of bacteria called biofilms, which can lurk until they are breathed into the lungs.

Nearly 20 million people in the U.S. wear full or partial dentures often infected with MRSA or drug-resistant staphylococcus aureus bacteria.

The team of scientists from Brazil who carried out the research also suggested soaking them in a germicidal mouthwash solution of two per cent chlorhexidine gluconate for 10 minutes, the Daily Mail reported.

Either method is sufficient to disinfect dentures coated with the toughest MRSA biofilms for up to a week, according to the study led by Karen Tereza Altieri, a dentist at the Araraquara Dental School at the Universidade Estadual Paulista in Sao Paulo.

"To our knowledge, we are the first investigators to report the effectiveness of this method in killing MRSA," she said.

Leaving dentures in a glass overnight may not be enough to keep them clean, scientists say. Microwaving them for three minutes would be better, a study found.

MRSA, full name Meticillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, is a bacteria resistant to some antibiotics and usually found on false teeth, scientists said.

Experts in the U.S. have insisted that they recommend the methods to improve the oral hygiene of their patients following the study's results.

"We do know there are links between the bacteria in the mouth and systemic effects throughout the body," San Antonio dentist, who specialises in the repair and replacement of teeth, Victoria Vickers said.

The study has been published in the Journal of the American Dental Association. (ANI)

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