Why the Ultimate Mouthwash Won’t Really Cure Tooth Decay
Researchers have concluded years of testing and are nearing the time when they will release a new mouthwash that has been coined the “ultimate mouthwash.” The mouthwash has been formulated to target the bacteria Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans). A new study, published in Caries Research, found that the mouthwash was effective at killing Streptococcus mutans in the mouth. These findings have led researchers to believe that this new mouthwash may completely “wipe out tooth decay during our lifetime.”
The mouthwash was created after nearly a decade of research, solely based on the belief that S. mutans causes tooth decay. The researchers finally developed a formula that they believe will win the war against tooth decay and cavities, as it targets the bacteria that they believe to be the cause of tooth decay. The problem with this claim is that the researchers based their entire theory on the belief that
In truth, Streptococcus mutans lives within everyone, and it has for years. Other studies I have read have shown nearly 1,000 different bacteria associated with tooth decay. The article even states that, “People have been living with S. mutans practically ever since there have been people.” (Wagner) Yet, just a few decades ago, people lived without cavities or tooth decay. Weston Price was a well-respected dentist in the 1930’s. He searched the globe in hopes of finding people who were free from tooth decay, and what he found was interesting. He found entire tribes and villages that were
If we believe that S. mutans is the cause of tooth decay, and that everyone has been living with S. mutans since people have been here, then everyone should be similarly affected by tooth decay and cavities. Yet, there are people who have optimum dental health, which makes the theory that S. mutans causes tooth decay lose its validity.
The original research that was done on S. mutans found that the bacteria become more prevalent if the body is experiencing deterioration. This shows that S. mutans is the result of tooth decay, not the cause. When the teeth begin to decay, from a lack of nutrients or a diet high in sweet or processed foods, the body produces bacteria (S. mutans) as a response to the decay and deterioration.
While researchers believe that this “ultimate mouthwash” is the answer to curing tooth decay, they are mistaken. Tooth decay can be cured, but not with a magic mouthwash. A
Sullivan, R, P Santarpia, et al. "Clinical Efficacy of a Specifically Targeted Antimicrobial Peptide Mouth Rinse: Targeted Elimination of Streptococcus mutans and Prevention of Demineralization." Caries Research. 45.5 (2011): 415-428. Web. 27 Dec. 2011. <http://content.karger.com/ProdukteDB/produkte.asp?doi=10.1159/000330510>.
Wagner, Neil. "The Ultimate Mouthwash: Has Tooth Decay Finally Met Its Match?." The Atlantic. N.p., 21 Dec. 2011. Web. 27 Dec 2011. <http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2011/12/the-ultimate-mouthwash-has-tooth-decay-finally-met-its-match/250184/>.