No More Cavities… Ever

I first heard about a bacteria that will prevent cavity formation a while back. It looks like Oragenics is moving it into human trials.

Normal bacteria produce lactic acid which slowly eats away at your teeth, eventually causing cavities. This new, genetically engineered, bacteria doesn’t. It is however designed to get rid of the acid producing kind. If this works, it could be huge. I could easily imagine this cutting the recommended number of visits to the dentist in half. If insurance providers really believe in preventive care, they will be giving it away for free.

I still have some questions. How long will it stay in your mouth? Will the regular bacteria eventually evolve to fight for their turf? Will it do anything about bad breath? (Update: The FAQs indicate that it won’t.) Will it make it worse because people will stop brushing? How much will it cost? Since it’s patented, would it be illegal to swap bacteria with others? What are the possible side effects?

The real sparkle on this tooth is that arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) may, similarly, be caused by bacteria. In another 10 years, heart disease and strokes could be a thing of the past. Keep that in mind when you’re saving for retirement.