Oxidative Consumption of Oral Biomolecules by Therapeutically-Relevant Doses of Ozone


In view of its potent microbicidal actions, ozone (O3) offers much potential for application as a therapeutic agent in oral health, e.g. in the treatment of dental caries. This oxidant is extremely reactive towards biomolecules present in the oral environment, and in this study we have employed high-resolution proton (1H) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to determine the nature and extent of the oxidation of biomolecules known to be present in carious dentin, plaque and saliva. Phosphate-buffered (pH 7.00) aqueous solutions containing sodium pyruvate, α-D-glucose, L-cys teine and L-methionine (5.00 mM) were treated with gaseous O3 (4.48 mmol.) delivered by a therapeutic O3 generating device. Attack of O3 on methionine and cysteine generated the corresponding primary oxidation products of these substrates, specifically methionine sulphoxide [98% ± 4% (mean ± SEM) yield] and cystine (95% ± 6% yield) respectively, and treatment of pyruvate with this oxidant produced acetate and CO2 via an oxidative decarboxylation process (93% ± 4% yield). Reaction of O3 with α-D-glucose gave rise to formate as a major product (24% ± 2% yield). In conclusion, multicomponent 1H NMR analysis of appropriate chemical model systems provides valuable molecular information regarding the reactivity of O3 towards biomolecules present in the oral environment, information which is of much relevance to its therapeutic mechanisms of action. Moreover, in view of the much higher concentrations of these O3-scavenging biomolecules in oral fluid and/or soft tissue environments than that of O3 applied, they may also serve to offer protection against putative adverse effects inducible by any of this oxidant which escapes from its site of therapeutic application (e.g., at primary root carious lesions).

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Chang, H. , Lynch, E. and Grootveld, M. (2012) Oxidative Consumption of Oral Biomolecules by Therapeutically-Relevant Doses of Ozone. Advances in Chemical Engineering and Science, 2, 238-245. doi: 10.4236/aces.2012.22028.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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