>Tea Fights Cavities, Reduces Plaque
ScienceDaily (May 24, 2001) — Drinking tea may help fight cavities. A group of researchers from the University of Illinois
Dr. Wu and her colleagues found that compounds in black tea were capable of killing or suppressing growth and acid production of cavity-causing bacteria in dental plaque. Black tea also affects the bacterial enzyme glucosyltranferase which is responsible for converting sugars into the sticky matrix material that plaque uses to adhere to teeth. In addition, certain plaque bacteria, upon exposure to black tea, lost their ability to form the clumpy aggregates with other bacteria in plaque, thereby reducing the total mass of the dental plaque.
Raisins Fight Oral BacteriaScienceDaily (June 8, 2005) — Compounds found in raisins fight bacteria in the mouth that cause cavities and gum disease, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
five phytochemicals in Thompson seedless raisins: oleanolic acid, oleanolic aldehyde, betulin, betulinic acid and 5-(hydroxymethyl)-2-furfural.
Oleanolic acid, oleanolic aldehyde, and 5-(hydroxymethyl)-2-furfural inhibited the growth of two species of oral bacteria: Streptococcus mutans, which causes cavities, and Porphyromonas gingivalis, which causes periodontal disease. The compounds were effective against the bacteria at concentrations ranging from about 200 to 1,000 micrograms per milliliter.
Betulin and betulinic acid were less effective, requiring much higher concentrations for similar antimicrobial activity.
At a concentration of 31 micrograms per milliliter, oleanolic acid also blocked S. mutans adherence to surfaces. Adherence is crucial for the bacteria to form dental plaque, the sticky biofilm that accumulates on teeth. After a sugary meal, these bacteria release acids that erode the tooth enamel.
Raisin (Kismis) contains mainly fructose and glucose, not sucrose, the main culprit in oral disease
Sweet Magnolia: Tree Bark Extract Fights Bad Breath And Tooth Decay
ScienceDaily (Nov. 20, 2007) — “Sweet magnolia” does more than describe the fragrant blossoms of a popular evergreen tree. It also applies to magnolia bark’s effects on human breath. Scientists in Illinois are reporting that breath mints made with magnolia bark extract kill most oral bacteria that cause bad breath and tooth decay within 30 minutes. The extract could be a boon for oral health when added to chewing gum and mints.
New Bacterial Species Found In Human Mouth
ScienceDaily (Aug. 11, 2008)
Scientists have discovered a new species of bacteria in the mouth. The finding could help scientists to understand tooth decay and gum disease and may lead to better treatments, according to research published in the August issue of the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology.
“The healthy human mouth is home to a tremendous variety of microbes including viruses, fungi, protozoa and bacteria,” said Professor William Wade from King’s College London Dental Institute. “The bacteria are the most numerous: there are 100 million in every millilitre of saliva and more than 600 different species in the mouth. Around half of these have yet to be named and we are trying to describe and name the new species.”
Scientists studied healthy tissue as well as tumours in the mouth and found three strains of bacteria called Prevotella that could not be identified. Prevotella species are part of the normal microbial flora in humans and are also associated with various oral diseases and infections in other parts of the body. The researchers named the new species Prevotella histicola; histicola means ‘inhabitant of tissue’.