From research begun in 2005, Jose Cordova, a researcher at Yale University, along with Erich Astudillo from the University of Chile now have a patent pending on a new molecule designated ‘Keep 32’ that could be incorporated into toothpaste, mouth rinse, gum and other oral/dental products [the original article, translated from Spanish – click here]. Most tooth decay is caused by Streptococcus mutans (aka S. mutans) bacteria, carried by virtually everyone, and ‘Keep 32’ could kill S. mutans in about 60 seconds.
Similar research has pursued this approach before, and in 2011 a microbiologist at UCLA’s School of Dentistry developed a mouthwash that almost eliminated the bacteria in all 12 subjects who tested it over a four-day period, according to a UCLA press release issued at the time.
Many companies are interested in investing or buying the patent, and pending funding and results of the trials, ‘Keep 32’ products could be on the market in 14 to 18 months.
It is very important to note a couple things:
all cavities are not caused by S. mutans (other cavity causing bacteria: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Actinomyces viscosus, Nocardia spp., Streptococcus wiggsiae)
even in the absence of S. mutans, S. wiggsiae is also associated with severe tooth decay
final trials of ‘Keep 32’ are still pending