Science Friday: Will A Breakthrough Mouthwash Eliminate Need for Dentists?

Science Friday: Will A Breakthrough in Mouthwash Eliminate Need For Dentists?Will a mouthwash eventually eliminate the need to visit the dentist for regular checkups?

In a recent clinical study, a new mouthwash developed by a microbiologist at the UCLA School of Dentistry successfully eliminated most of the Streptococcus mutans bacteria in 12 subjects over a trial period of four days.

As reported in Science Daily, the subjects rinsed only once and the mouthwash was effective in targeting the bacteria that is the principal cause tooth decay and cavities.

The mouthwash is the product of nearly ten years of research conducted by Wenyuan Shi, chair of the oral biology section at the UCLA School of Dentistry. Shi developed a new antimicrobial technology called STAMP (specifically targeted anti-microbial peptides) with support from C3-Jian Inc. a company he founded around patent rights he developed at UCLA. (Science Daily)

Because of the effectiveness of this limited clinical trial, C3-Jian Inc. has filed an application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is expected to begin more extensive clinical trials in March 2012. If the FDA ultimately approves STAMP for general use, it will be the first such anti-dental caries drug since fluoride was licensed nearly 60 years ago.

Since Americans spend more than $70 billion each year on the treatment of tooth decay or cavities, will a simple mouthwash eliminate the need for regular visits to the dentist?

What are your thoughts?

For more on this story see: New Mouthwash Targeting Harmful Bacteria May Render Tooth Decay a Thing of the Past.

Science Friday: Can Gum and Hard Candy Help Prevent Cavities?

Science Friday: Can Gum and Hard Candy Help Prevent CavitiesAs reported in Science Daily News, the American Dental Association (ADA) Council on Scientific Affairs assembled a multi-disciplinary expert panel to provide recommendations on nonfluoride options that could provide an extra benefit to prevent cavities in dental patients at high risk for developing cavities.

In its report the panel revealed that sugar-free chewing gum, lozenges and hard candy including xylitol or polyol combinations, and a prescription varnish with chlorhexidine and thymol could be beneficial in preventing cavities when used in conjunction with a comprehensive cavity prevention program which includes the use of fluoride-containing products.

The scientific panel further recommended that dentists consider applying a mixture of cholrhexidine-thymol varnish to the teeth of high-risk adults and the elderly every three months to reduce cavities developing in the root of the tooth.

The panel also encouraged dentists to consider advising parents and caregivers of healthy children older than 5 years who are at higher risk for cavities to chew sugar-free polyol gum after meals for 10 to 20 minutes to prevent cavities.

The ADA report is available on their Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry website at The executive summary of the report is published in the September issue of The Journal for the American Dental Association.

For more on this story see: Sugar-Free Polyol Gum, Lozenges, Hard Candy: Nonfluoride Varnishes Help Prevent Cavities, Study Finds


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