LIFESTYLE

Why Mucus Could Be Great News For Your Teeth

Who knew?

26/04/2017 10:22 | Updated 12 May 2017

Correction: this article originally stated that nasal mucus could be beneficial for your teeth. This statement was incorrect and we have amended it accordingly.

Mucus found in the body could help protect teeth from the bacteria that causes cavities.

Writing in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, researchers suggested that mucus found in the internal linings of our body (such as in the mouth, the lungs, the intestine and the cervix), contains proteins which have a protective effect on the teeth.

Now they want to harness these proteins by making synthetic mucus, which they’d add into toothpaste and chewing gum, to promote good dental health.

Jose Luis Pelaez Inc via Getty Images

While toothpaste and mouthwash kill bacteria, mucus prevents the bacteria itself from attaching to teeth and causing holes in the enamel.

According to Ozy.com, researchers want to develop their own form of synthetic mucus which they believe could have beneficial health effects and might even help protect against respiratory infections and stomach ulcers.

Instead of giving people antibiotics, they believe synthetic mucus could be an effective, and less intrusive, form of treatment.  

This is “not necessarily to resolve infections but to stabilise or prevent infection” Katharina Ribbeck, an assistant professor in the department of biological engineering at MIT, who co-authored the study, said. 

Researchers said the artificial mucus could one day be added to toothpaste or chewing gum to help fight against bacteria in the mouth.

It’s worth noting that the mucus featured in this study was not comparable to snot.

It is thought, however, that mucus found in the nose could also prove beneficial to our bodies.  

Scott Napper, an associate professor of biochemistry at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada, previously told CTV News that he believed picking your nose and eating it may be an evolutionarily-backed way to boost your immune system’s protective powers.

Meanwhile Professor Friedrich Bischinger, an Austrian lung specialist, reportedly said research showed people who picked their noses were ‘healthier, happier and better in tune with their bodies’.

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