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Feb 1, 2012

New, Targeted Mouthwash Could Eliminate Tooth Decay "Within Our Lifetimes"

A single species of bacteria is responsible for tooth decay. But until now, mouthwash has worked by sterilizing your maw wholesale. But why go Death Star v. Alderaan on it when you could just kill off that one bad species? This is exactly what Colgate has done and the result could mean an end to cavities—forever.

The bacterial species Streptococcus mutans constitutes just 0.1-percent of the biomass currently residing in your mouth (fun fact: 100 trillion bacteria live there) but is the primary cause of decay. The rest of the 99.9-percent are harmless and some even beneficial. To spare these innocuous bacteria death by rinsing, a research team at the Colgate Technology Center in conjunction with the UCLA School of Dentistry have developed a mouthwash that kills only S. mutans and does so with extreme prejudice.

The study, published in the November issue of the Carries Research journal, involved 12 volunteers who rinsed with a solution containing a "specifically targeted anti-microbial peptide". After just a single rinse, the S. mutans was completely wiped out and the patients remained S. mutans-free for the duration of the four-day study. the rest of the bacteria were left unscathed.

Obviously, more than a 12-person test is going to be needed to obtain FDA approval. Which is why follow up studies ar already scheduled for as early as March. If it does win FDA approval, this mouthwash could be bigger than flouride—you'd never have to brush.

"With this new antimicrobial technology, we have the prospect of actually wiping out tooth decay in our lifetime," Dr. Wenyuan Shi, chair of UCLA's oral biology section, said in a written statement. More here.

9 comments:

Gryt said...

If cavities were gone forever, think of how much that would save on dental bills!

Atley said...

This is great! I hope this really comes true! I have tried a couple of the new mouth washes, and I was actually allergic to one of them, as long as I am not allergic I will be using this thing for sure!.

MRanthrope said...

British people rejoice! ha. kidding....maybe.

R said...

Wow, that would be awesome!

Alex D. said...

Thats pretty cool!

YeamieWaffles said...

I seriously beg you to update us if any new news comes out dude, this would be amazing for me!

MynameisEarl said...

While I do think that mouthwash is a great thing there have been fears of it causing cancer if used too frequently. Take Listerine for example, it contains ethanol, Acetaldehyde and as much as 26 per cent alcohol.

I use mouthwash but not on a daily basis. As they say, too much of one thing is a bad deal.

Nemo Veram said...

very nice, definitely hoping that happens!

G said...

wow I need some of this