Study: Plant Chemical Blocks Tooth Decay
EDINBURGH, Scotland, May 20 (UPI) — A natural plant product called trans-chalcone, related to chemicals found in licorice root, has been shown to help prevent bacteria in oral cavities that cause the formation of plaque and acid which lead to tooth decay.
Trans-chalcone blocks an enzyme that allows the bacteria that thrive in the mouth and attach themselves to teeth, (Streptococcus mutans), from creating so-called biofilms to protect themselves, and forming plaque on teeth.
“This exciting discovery highlights the potential of this class of natural products in food and healthcare technologies,” said Dr. Dominic Campopiano, of the School of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh, in a press release.
“We are expanding our study to include similar natural products and investigate if they can be incorporated into consumer products.”
The study is published in Chemical Communications.