Smile Your Future Could be Cavity Free

Bunker, Christine, Cristina Calibeo, Kristina Pitock, and Natalie Brant

Purpose The purpose of our table clinic is to introduce the possible idea of a future caries vaccine. It will focus on the advantages and disadvantages of the most advanced vaccine of this type, CaroRx, and what could be expected from this in the future.   Summary Dental caries is an infectious and multifactoral disease. It is currently a major epidemic seen throughout the world and millions of dollars are spent annually on its prevention and removal. One of the necessary components of caries is bacteria. Streptococcus mutans is the main culprit for dental caries. Although there are many preventive measures that one may take to stop dental decay, it is impossible for S. mutans to be absent from the oral cavity for long periods of time. Plans to produce a vaccine to protect against caries have been developing and the most advanced is the CaroRx vaccine. This vaccine is recommended for any age group, starting with 18 months of age. CaroRx works by inhibiting the adherence of S. mutans to the teeth by interfering with its ecological niche. It is intended for regular topical prevention administration by both dental hygienists and patients following a professional cleaning and intervention for any existing decay. CaroRx is shown to be safe and effective for up to 2 years. It is currently undergoing Phase III U.S. clinical trials under a U.S. FDA-approved Investigational New Drug (IND) application, and is expected to be out on the market in 3-4 years.   Conclusion Dental caries is a major crisis seen throughout the world and treatment continues to be lacking. By having a caries vaccine on the market, many smiles and dollars could be saved. CaroRx brings the hope that the world could see a future that could be cavity free. A caries vaccine would be very beneficial and could help fight this incredibly widespread infectious disease.