11/07/2012 13:55 BST | Updated 11/07/2012 14:03 BST

Keep 32: The New Chemical That Could Make Teeth ‘Cavity Proof'

A new chemical has been developed that could potentially make human teeth ‘cavity proof’ thanks to its ability to wipes out all bacteria that cause cavities, reports the Daily Mail today.

The molecule, named ‘Keep 32’ after the 32 teeth in the human mouth, successfully destroyed germs that rot teeth in just 60 seconds during recent trials.

‘Keep 32’ has been designed to target ‘streptococcus mutans’, the nasty bacteria that turns sugar into the lactic acid that rots tooth enamel. Creators of the chemical are therefore hopeful it could prevent long-term tooth decay.

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The streptococcus mutans bacteria is naturally present in our bodies. With plaque build-up, colonies of the bacteria then grow, attach to the teeth and release lactic acid.

These acids then erode the dental enamel, which causes cavities that lead to tooth decay and gum disease.


The chemical has been under investigation for seven years and is currently undergoing human trials.

Scientists from Yale University and the University of Chile believe this chemical could potentially be added to dental care products, such as toothpaste, mouthwash and chewing gum, within the next 18 months.

“We are currently in talks with five interested in investing in our project or buying our patent,” researchers said to the Daily Mail.

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