- Chemical could be added to toothpastes in year’s time
- Kills bacteria that erode teeth
- Single dose protects mouth for hours
- ‘Keep 32’ chemical could even be added to foods
By Rob Waugh
PUBLISHED: 11:57 EST, 10 July 2012 | UPDATED: 13:55 EST, 10 July 2012
The molecule has been called ‘Keep 32’ – after the 32 teeth in a human mouth.
The chemical was designed by dentists in Chile, and wipes out all the bacteria that cause cavities in just 60 seconds in tests.
The chemical could be added to any current dental care product, turning toothpaste, mouthwash and chewing gum into ‘super cleansers’ that could get rid of the underlying cause of tooth decay.
The chemical targets ‘streptococcus mutans’, the bacteria that turns the sugar in your mouth into lactic acid which erodes tooth enamel.
By exterminating the bacteria, ‘Keep 32’ prevents the damage to teeth before it happens.
Using a product containing the chemical keeps your teeth ‘cavity proof’ for several hours.
The product has been under test for seven years, and is now going into human trials.
It could be on the market in 14 to 18 months, say researchers José Córdoba from Yale University and Erich Astudillo from the University of Chile.
The chemical could even be added to foods to stop bacteria damaging teeth as you eat.
The researchers hope to licence the patent to chemical giants such as Procter and Gamble.
‘We are currently in talks with five interested in investing in our project or buy our patent,’ say the researchers.