Feature

Innovation of the week

Fighting tooth decay could one day be as simple as popping in a piece of candy.

Fighting tooth decay could one day be as simple as popping in a piece of candy. Microbiologists from Berlin are currently working on a new probiotic-laced mint that removes cavity-causing germs from your teeth. “Our mouths are microbial jungles,” said Michaeleen Doucleff in NPR.org. The human oral cavity plays host to more than 600 species of bacteria, most of them harmless. The probiotic used in the sugarless mint, Lactobacillus paracasei, is normally found in kefir and yogurt. It is known to attach itself to and neutralize Streptococcus mutans, which transforms leftover sugars into enamel-damaging acid. In theory, this should help fight cavities, though the reduction of harmful bacteria is quite small at this preliminary stage of the product development. Still, dental experts are optimistic about potential applications. “Eat candy and fight tooth decay—what a sweet concept, right?”

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