Biggest Breakthrough Since Flouride? Scientists May Have Found a Cure for Tooth Decay

Posted on: September 17, 2012 | blog

picture of a pink toothbrush
Toothpaste's newest friend?

Prior to the 1940’s, tooth decay was a serious problem for Americans. Cavities and missing teeth were the norm, and most Americans didn’t even brush their teeth until after WWII. So what changed in the 40’s? The country began adding flouride to the public water supply.

This resulted in a 40% decrease in children’s cavities (and adults benefited as well). The Centers for Disease Control deemed it “One of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.” However, moving into the 21st century, pediatric cavities have reached an all time high, and it seems flouride alone just doesn’t cut it in today’s sugar saturated world. It’s time to look for answers elsewhere, and two researchers claim to have found that answer.

Jose Cordova of Yale University and Erich Astudillo of the University of Chile have recently synthesized a new molecule which has been shown to kill bacteria in the mouth. The molecule, aptly named “Keep 32”, can successfully protect all 32 teeth from the harmful bacteria Streptococcus Mutans (the leading cause of tooth decay). Experiments showed that Keep 32 can kill Streptococcus Mutans in less than 60 seconds (good news for those out there who skimp on the 2 minute mark while brushing!)

What does this discovery mean for the future of oral hygiene? The scientists who synthesized it say that they intend to license the product to a big time health care company. The two are confident that Keep 32 can easily earn $300 million in revenue within its first 5 years on the market. They say that the product can easily be added to toothpastes and mouthwashes, but it doesn’t end there; there’s even talk about adding it to the water supply like flouride, and even to food products.

man flossing teeth
But that doesn't get you out of brushing and flossing.
photo credit: /*dave*/ via photo pin cc

Of course, these products are still a long way off, and it could be some time before we see them released to the public. It’s also important to keep in mind that like flouride, Keep 32 is not meant to replace proper brushing and dental care. As a brushing aid however, Keep 32 shows potential to help keep your 32 pearly whites looking and feeling their best. If you need any help polishing your set of 32, BDG is the best Las Vegas emergency dentist around.

Main photo credit: Alexandra Schwarz Photografie via photo pin cc

 

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