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New chemical makes teeth ‘cavity proof’

Wednesday, 11 July 2012 - 5:59pm IST | Place: London | Agency: ANI
The chemical targets ‘streptococcus mutans’, the bacteria that turn the sugar in the mouth into lactic acid that erodes tooth enamel.

Dentists in Chile have created a new chemical that could make human teeth ‘cavity proof’ — and do away with the need for visits to the doctor forever.

The molecule has been called ‘Keep 32’ — after the 32 teeth in a human mouth.

The chemical wipes out all the bacteria that cause cavities in just 60 seconds in tests.

The chemical may possibly be added to any current dental care product, turning toothpaste, mouthwash and chewing gum into ‘super cleansers’ that could get rid of the underlying cause of tooth decay.

The chemical targets ‘streptococcus mutans’, the bacteria that turn the sugar in the mouth into lactic acid that erodes tooth enamel.

By exterminating the bacteria, ‘Keep 32’ prevents it from causing damage to teeth before it starts converting sugar into lactic acid.

Using a product containing the chemical may help keep your teeth ‘cavity proof’ for several hours.

The product has been under test for seven years, and is now going into human trials.

It could hit the market in 14 to 18 months, say researchers Jose Cordoba from Yale University and Erich Astudillo from the University of Chile, the Daily Mail reported.

The chemical could even be added to foods to stop bacteria damaging teeth as you eat.

The researchers hope to licence the patent to chemical giants such as Procter and Gamble.

“We are currently in talks with five interested in investing in our project or buy our patent,” the researchers said.


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