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Researchers identify new bacteria that may contribute to cavity formation
Updated: 5/17/2011 7:00:01 PM

Identifying strains of bacteria that cause cavities may lead to better preventive treatments How would you prevent cavities from forming if you didn't know what caused them? Some individuals would not brush their teeth if they were not aware that letting food particles and bacteria remain in the mouth for long periods of time creates the need for uncomfortable cavity filling procedures.

In order to learn more about which specific types of bacteria cause cavities, a group of Boston researchers examined the differences in the bacterial makeup of children's mouths. Some of the participants had early childhood caries, while others did not.

The study's results, published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, showed that the bacteria Scardovia wiggsiae was present among subjects with deep cavities. The researchers explained that this type of microorganism is able to thrive in acidic conditions, which may be one reason why children who consume large quantities of sugar are more likely to develop cavities. Acid is produced in the mouth when sugar particles are digested.

Along with regular brushing and flossing, the dental experts recommended that individuals use measures to suppress cariogenic bacteria, including mouth rinses that contain chlorhexidine or products with Povodine iodine or fluoride. Using sugar substitutes in food may also be beneficial, they said.

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