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A new device claims to be able to identify cavity-causing bacteria in plaque before it affects a patient's dental health.
The Oral BioTech CariScreen contains a handheld meter using ATP bioluminescence technology. The company says that this type of technology is "highly predictive" for assessing levels of acid producing bacteria.
Tooth decay occurs when teeth are repeatedly exposed to sugars and starches from foods. Bacteria in the mouth feed on these bits of food and produce acid that destroys tooth enamel and leads to cavities.
According to Oral BioTech, not all of the plaque on people's teeth is damaging - dental decay only occurs when there is a large amount of unhealthy acidic bacteria.
The CariScreen allows dentists to obtain a reading within 15 seconds that reveals the level of acidic bacteria in a patient's mouth.
Using technologies such as this, the firm suggests that dentists can help people protect their dental health "by providing access to early diagnosis, treatment and prevention."
People can also help prevent decay by practicing good dental health habits, such as brushing twice per day and flossing daily.
© 2008 Brafton Inc.
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