While a visit to any physician can be terrifying the one to the dentist has to be the worst of all. One never knows when he/she will shake their head in dismay and mouth out the dreaded 'C' word. However if two scientists have their way, cavities will be a word dentists will never be able to utter again.
Researchers Jose Cordova from US-based Yale University and Erich Astudillo from Chile's Universidad de Santiagor recently revealed the discovery of a new molecule that they have innovatively dubbed Keep 32 (as in keep all 32 teeth), which purportedly nips the cause of tooth decay in the bud.
The reason we get cavities when we consume sugary foods and don't brush well is thanks to bacteria known as Streptococcus mutans. Found commonly in the human mouth the microorganisms metabolize the sugar stuck on the teeth and turn it into lactic acid. This in turn slowly but surely, dissolves the enamel, leading to decay.
While using a fluoride fortified toothpaste helps by strengthening the tooth enamel so that it can withstand the lactic acid better, it does not help against the bacteria that create it. That's where the new Keep 32 molecule comes in - it destroys the dangerous organisms before they can react with the sugar.
The best part is that Keep 32 has been in development for almost seven years and is now ready to be tested on humans. This means that if all goes well, it will available to all of us within the next three to four years. What's even better is that it is versatile enough to be mixed in with toothpaste, mouthwash, gum, normal food and even . . . . . candy! The dream day when your parents insist you eat a piece of candy to ensure you don't get cavities, is coming soon!