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 â€˜Keep 32â€™ that could be incorporated into toothpaste, mouth rinse, gum and other oral/dental products [the original article, translated from Spanish â€“ click here]. Most tooth decay is caused by Streptococcus mutans (aka S. mutans) bacteria, carried by virtually everyone, and â€˜Keep 32â€™ 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, â€˜Keep 32â€™ 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:Â 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 â€˜Keep 32â€™ are still pending