Whether you need cosmetic dentistry or emergency dentistry, there is usually one common factor: cavities. We know of three ways to minimise the likelihood and severity of cavities: regular effective brushing, regular trips to the dentist and a diet that does not include sugary drinks or sugary snacks.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just take a supplement that fights tooth decay? According to a recent study at the University of Florida College of Dentistry in the US, you may be able to do just that someday. A team of researchers at the University, led by Associate Dean Robert Burne, discovered a strain of streptococcus bacteria named A12 that can eradicate the bacteria that cause tooth decay.
A12 uses a different mechanism than previously studied bacteria. They neutralise and actively destroy a bacteria called streptococcus mutans. Streptococcus mutans is a bacteria which converts sugar into lactic acid, which subsequently eats away at your tooth enamel.
Associate Dean Burne feels the discovery of A12 could lead to probiotic oral health supplements similar to probiotic supplements for gut health. If those with healthy mouths are found to have more A12, it could be part of measuring risk assessment for future oral health problems.
At the very least, it is expected that A12 could delay the onset of plaque and tooth decay.
Cosmetic dentistry is usually needed due to tooth decay or gum disease. If A12 can help prevent the bacteria that cause tooth decay, it can greatly reduce your likelihood for needing cosmetic dentistry procedures in your lifetime.
Sadly, we have found that one “tool” usually isn’t enough to maintain perfect dental health. Even if a supplement is developed, you will still need to brush, floss and see the dentist on a regular basis. While A12 may make it more difficult for sugar to cause cavities, we don’t foresee it giving us carte blanche to eat whatever we want whenever we want. But we do see it as another tool in the fight against tooth decay.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, we encourage you to discuss these matters with an appropriately qualified health practitioner.