Researchers at Yale University and the University of Chile have just made a discovery that will save the world from a lot of toothache. A molecule which could kill cavity-causing bacteria has just been found.
Why Cavities Occur
The bacterium Streptococcus mutans is responsible for breaking down sugars in our mouths. This leads to the accumulation of lactic acid which in turn causes teeth to corrode. The tooth is thus in a constant state of flux between getting demineralized and getting remineralized again (primarily by saliva). When acid levels reach a certain threshold, demineralization occurs at a faster rate than the saliva can keep up with and tooth decay ensues. A lot of the food we eat is actually acidic, which contributes to the high prevalence of this condition.
The wonder molecule can apparently kill this bacterium in as less as 60 seconds and keep them away for several hours. Quite aptly, it has been christened ‘Keep 32’.
Healthy Chocolate Might Be on Its Way
The research team is looking to patent the molecule, due to which details of its structure and function, not to mention identity, remain unknown. The molecule is going into human trials soon, and if safety tests are passed, it may hit the floors in 12 to 14 months from now. A whopping 73% of people suffer from cavities, and this forms a huge market for such a product. The team is hoping to target toothpaste manufacturers and producers of confectionery.