Though we all dream of a day when the biggest diseases that afflict our society may be cured forever, most of us are probably willing to accept that tooth decay is here to stay. After all, isn’t it a foregone conclusion that bacteria are going to thrive in the human mouth? The truth may pleasantly surprise you.
While the human mouth is home to over 100 trillion microbes, there is only one variety that is responsible for producing the acid that causes tooth decay. This is the s. mutans bacteria, which makes up only 0.1% of the cultures in your mouth. Many of the other microbes are potentially beneficial, but get killed by antimicrobial mouthwashes strictly because the s. mutans can’t be targeted by itself. Fortunately, a group in UCLA is working to solve this problem.
This group has developed something that they are calling a “smart bomb” mouthwash, which kills off s. mutans while leaving other bacteria intact. In tests, the wash has shown itself to be effective in fully eliminating s. mutans populations. Test subjects experienced no resurgence of the bacteria for the duration of the study.
Though the mouthwash shows potential in making tooth decay a thing of the past, it has not yet been approved for commercial use. Until such a time, see our Federal Way dentistry clinic for help preventing decay.