New mouthwash being called 'dental smart bomb'

November 23, 2011 3:41:49 PM PST
Is the cavity about to be a thing of the past? A new so-called "smart bomb" mouthwash supposedly eliminates the bacteria responsible for tooth decay. Believe it or not, some say it may lead to us one day tossing out our toothbrushes.

Mike Selders, who has three cavities, likes what he hears about a smart bomb to kill cavities.

"It'd be nice not to have any more cavities," he said.

UT microbiologist Gena Tribble knows the UCLA scientist who came up with the smart bomb mouthwash.

"It could be very helpful, especially for small children whose oral hygiene may not be not the greatest," Dr. Tribble said.

Before we all get excited, it isn't the end of cavities, it's not the end of the horrible x-rays, in fact, it's not even ready for prime time.

"I don't think it will be the end of cavities," said Dr. Terri Alani. "You're still going to have to restrict your sugar, your diet. You're going to have to get the plaque off your teeth."

Dr. Tribble agrees -- you're not off the hook for brushing. She does research on cavities at UT Health Dental School. She says the smart bomb rinse kills the main bacteria that convert sugar into tooth-eating acid.

She explained, "They've done some early experiments on a small group of people showing they can specifically eliminate this acid producer from the oral cavity."

Would Dr. Tribble give the smart bomb mouthwash to her toddler?

"I would be willing to try something like this if I felt it had been tested and it had been shown there were no negative consequences, just because it would be easier for us to keep her cavity-free," she said.

The UCLA scientists plan to do more extensive trials on the "smart bomb" mouthwash in the spring.


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