Fighting Tooth Decay with Licorice

Licorice root could be the dentist’s nightmare come true – a “candy” that actually prevents cavities. Researchers at UCLA have demonstrated that an extract from the plant root used to make all sorts of candies and other products contains at least two chemicals that block replication of the bacterium Streptococcus mutans, a major cause of dental caries.

Qing-Yi Lu and Wenyuan Shi point out that more studies are needed before these compounds could ever be considered as additives for cavity-thwarting toothpaste or mouthwash. Chinese medicine has used licorice root for centuries and it is only recently that western science has been alerted to its potential in reducing inflammation, fighting viruses, and healing ulcers.

A word of caution though, too much licorice, whether in licorice candies, tea, or other foods, can trigger high blood pressure in susceptible people, far outweighing the protective effects on your teeth.

3 thoughts on “Fighting Tooth Decay with Licorice”

  1. Very good insight to understand the importance of a natural dental treatment, great job. More and more people are now looking for mercury free dental treatments.

  2. I agree entirely, there is a vast world of natural products out there waiting to be tested! Just one more reason to do all we can to prevent human activities from destroying long-lived ecosystems and biodiversity

  3. This article throws light on importance of plants as medicinal value. We have many plant species which can be tested for such use. In India, since long plant used for cleaning teeth for example neem plant twigs are used to clean teeth. these twigs also prevent teeth decay. This article will certainly inspire scientist to test other plants.

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