Health, fitness and Food
Sweets made of bacteria fight off tooth decay
Sweets that slash levels of harmful bacteria in the mouth could be a new weapon against tooth decay. They are designed to stop the bugs that cause decay from sticking to the surface of teeth, where they trigger erosion.
Instead, the harmful bacteria are swallowed in saliva and then flushed out of the body.
The sugar-free sweets work by using a type of ‘friendly’ probiotic bacteria (lactobacillus paracasei) to bind to the harmful type (streptococcus mutans).
As the sweet is sucked, the friendly bacteria are released into the saliva. They then lock on to the corrosive type, forming a clump, which reduces the harmful bacteria’s ability to stick to the surface of teeth.
As a so-called ‘friendly’ bacterium, found in some probiotic yoghurt drinks, for example, lactobacillus is a group of organisms that helps break down food, absorb nutrients and fight off bugs that might cause diseases such as diarrhoea.
The boiled sweets, developed by German firm Organobalance GMBH, could be targeted at children to try to avoid the early onset of tooth decay. READ MORE