Exactly How Does Silver Kill Bacteria?

Silver is as old as the earth. It’s been around for longer than people, and it’s been used for many different things throughout the thousands of years we’ve existed. It’s been used to create goblets for kings, bullets for mythical werewolves, and operating tools for Spanish surgeons in the 1500’s. 

It’s been used for all of those purposes for the exact same reason: because it kills bacteria

When most people think of antibacterial ingredients, they imagine something with a strong chemical smell that comes in a spray bottle. Silver heavily defies that expectation, yet still manages to deliver promising results. Unlike industrial germicides, silver is perfectly safe for your body. There are no side effects, and your body’s natural balance is never disturbed. 

The History of Silver as an Antibacterial Ingredient

During the bubonic plague, wealthy families used silver spoons at dinner time because they knew that silver would kill bacteria. This is the origin of the phrase “born with a silver spoon in your mouth.” Even then, people knew that silver had some kind of benefit in terms of stopping the spread of disease.

Spanish doctors in the early 1500’s were the first doctors to rigorously practice sanitation. They were the only doctors washing their hands and sterilizing their instruments. They revolutionized and invented hundreds of procedures we still use today, and only a few have we found ineffective.

One of those procedures was something called trepanning. Trepanning was used to relieve pressure that built up within the skull. A small piece of the skull was removed in the process, and not many patients successfully recovered from the procedure. It wasn’t until Spanish doctors began to use coins made of pure silver to repair the skull that outcomes became better. Through trial and error, they realized that something about the silver was preventing life threatening infections. 

Hundreds of years ago, technology barely existed. There was no real way to know how and why silver worked the way it did. The science has finally caught up, and now we’re able to fully understand how different types of silver work to combat bacteria. We also know why that process is so much different from the way other antibacterial ingredients work.

How Other Antibacterials Kill Bacteria

Most antibacterial agents work by directly killing things on contact. Things like alcohol, for example, indiscriminately kill every particle that they can overtake. This includes good bacteria. 

When you use a mouthwash powered by alcohol, you’re killing everything in your mouth. Your mouth is home to millions of different bacteria, and some of them are necessary for maintaining your oral health.

Alcohol wipes the slate clean. It’s going to take the good bacteria a long time to regenerate. If more bad bacteria were to enter the space before the balance of good bacteria and healthy cells is restored, you’re creating a situation where you’re completely dependent on alcohol-based mouthwash to manage bad bacteria.

Triclosan is an alternative to alcohol, but its method is slower and less effective. It keeps cells from producing the fatty acids they need to stay healthy and fortify their cell walls. In essence, it gives bacteria a crippling disability. This disability can slowly kill them if they’re exposed to enough triclosan. It takes triclosan a long time to work.

Triclosan’s longer and more convoluted process does not reliably produce favorable results. Triclosan’s popularity as an antibacterial agent has fallen out of favor in recent years, with most care product manufacturers seeking potent, longer lasting, and faster acting alternatives.

How Nano Silver Kills Bacteria

Take the same mouthwash from the previous scenario, and swap out the alcohol for silver. A vastly different picture will emerge. Both the methodology and the results of nano silver treatments will differ significantly from alcohol based treatments designed to kill bacteria. These differences are what make nano silver so effective.

Nano silver consists of especially potent silver particles that have been reduced to an incredibly tiny size. These tiny silver particles are able to safely pass through the mouth’s natural biofilm without damaging any of the healthy cells necessary for maintaining an ideal balance in your oral microbiome. 

Silver works to destroy pathogenic bacteria by stealing the electrons that make up their cell walls. When the walls have been robbed of their electrons, they become much weaker. The bacterial cells implode on themselves. In the process of imploding, the dead bacteria cells draw in excess silver. They carry it to other bacteria cells and implode them on the way out.  

This chain reaction works to kill bacteria until all of the silver has left the body or diluted in potency from its spread. The silver continues to do its job for hours after you’ve used it. If any new bacteria were to enter your mouth, any silver that remains there would immediately get to work on it.

The dead germs and the silver are safely expelled from the body. Neither will accumulate and cause you harm. Silver is completely natural and non-toxic. It won’t damage anything that shouldn’t be damaged.

Is Nano Silver Safe?

Nano silver has been rigorously evaluated for safety. Hundreds of independent studies backed by dozens of well-respected institutions concluded that silver is both safe and effective in the management of bacteria. There have been more than 30 studies specifically designed to gauge the safety of antibacterial silver, as well as 3 FDA-cleared studies that deemed silver safe for human ingestion. 

American Biotech Labs extensively studied the effects of nano silver in dental care products. When using nano silver once a day for two weeks, 87.5% of participants showed a significant improvement in their dental health as early as the first week. The most astounding result was that 80% of participants saw a major reduction in plaque, a record high for similar dental care studies. 

Nano silver also plays an important role in the management of inflammation. With 70% of patients reporting reduced inflammation and 50% of patients experiencing noteworthy decreases in gum inflammation, it’s easy to see how nano silver can successfully combat the bacteria that contribute to the worsening of inflammatory oral conditions. 

How Can Antibacterial Silver Be Used?

Modern medicine uses silver in many applications. Bandages and dressings can be fortified with silver, as can sutures and topical ointments used to prevent the infection of a wound. Nano silver can also be used in oral care products to fight bad breath and the germs that cause tooth decay and gum disease. 

Doesn’t All Toothpaste Kill Bacteria?

You’ve probably had the importance of adequate dental hygiene constantly reiterated to you since you were old enough to hold a toothbrush. We’re given the impression that toothpaste kills bacteria, but it doesn’t actually contain any ingredients that serve that purpose.

While some toothpastes contain antibacterial ingredients like triclosan, the FDA doesn’t have enough evidence to prove that triclosan serves any benefit. They subject these toothpastes to rigorous and expensive tests before they’ve allowed to go to market. Almost none of them will ultimately wind up on store shelves. For this reason, companies have steered away from triclosan in the formulation of oral care products. 

Regular toothpaste works to remove bacteria cells, rather than killing them. The idea is that your toothbrush will knock bacteria loose, gathering them up into a foamy lather that you can easily spit right down the bathroom sink. Remaining bacteria is intended to be wiped out during the next step in your oral care routine.

Mouthwash is the product designed to kill bacteria, and it does so by significantly damaging your oral microbiome with alcohol. It’s a common misconception that all bacteria or microorganisms are out to harm you. Your body needs good soldiers in the form of bacteria to ward off the bad ones. That’s why probiotics and fermented foods are touted for their health benefits. 

To restore your mouth to its natural balance, you need an antibacterial ingredient that won’t disturb your mouth’s natural function. That’s why nano silver is such a valuable alternative. The bacteria is gone, but your healthy biofilm remains. It’s less of a “scorched earth” approach. 

The nano silver handles what it’s meant to handle, and everything else is left alone.

The Takeaway

Silver has a unique approach in the way it kills bacteria. The proof is in the difference. Rather than using a burning, stinging solution like alcohol to wipe out the entire microbiome of your mouth, switch to oral care products containing nano silver. Extensive study has demonstrated that nano silver is a valuable alternative that works wonders to restore and maintain a healthy mouth. 






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