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Oral Bacteria Invade Plant Pathology Lab in the Name of Dental Research

Dental hygiene students are taking over the Plant Pathology Lab at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to test dental care products against caries-causing bacteria. Their innovative study aims to determine the effectiveness of natural alternatives compared to traditional treatments.

Throughout July, the Plant Pathology Lab at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Panhandle Research Extension and Education Center in Scottsbluff is hosting an unusual set of guests: dental hygiene students from the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) College of Dentistry. Typically used for researching plant pathogens, the lab now serves a team of junior dental hygiene students. Their project focuses on evaluating three products to combat Streptococcus mutans, the bacteria responsible for dental caries, comparing these products to the standard chlorhexidine treatment. One of the products being tested is marketed as a natural solution, reflecting a growing trend popularized on social media. The students will conduct a pilot study followed by a full experiment, with plans to present their findings at the UNMC College of Dentistry in Lincoln. Click here to read more.

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