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New mouthwash kills tooth decay bugs

New mouthwash kills tooth decay bugs

A newly developed mouthwash which kills the bacteria that cause tooth decay and cavities has been developed at UCLA School of Dentistry.

Tests with the mouthwash have shown it to be highly successful in killing off the bugs known as Strepococcus mutans.

The bacteria were almost completely eliminated in one four day testing period.

The mouthwash  is the product of nearly a decade of research by Wenyuan Shi, chair of the oral biology section at the school.

Dental caries, commonly known as tooth decay or cavities, is one of the most common and costly infectious diseases affecting more than 50pc of children and most adults.

The mouthwash has only been tested in a small clinical study but has been shown to act as a sort of “smart bomb” eliminating only the harmful bacteria and remaining effective for an extended period.

More extensive trials are expected next year  and if approved the mouthwash will be the first such anti-dental caries drug since fluoride was licensed nearly 60 years ago.

“With this new antimicrobial technology, we have the prospect of actually wiping out tooth decay in our lifetime,” said Shi, who noted that this work may lay the foundation for developing additional target-specific “smart bomb” antimicrobials to combat other diseases.

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