Dental researchers discover bacteria involved in tooth decay

Researchers from the Philadelphia-based University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine and the Chapel Hill-based University of North Carolina Adams School of Dentistry and Gillings School of Global Public Health recently discovered a bacterial species involved in tooth decay.

A study published May 22  in Nature Communications showed that S. sputigena, which was previously associated only with gum disease, can work with S. mutans on the development of cavities. 

As part of the study, UNC researchers collected plaque samples from 300 children aged 3-5 years, half of whom had caries. The researchers partnered with the University of Pennsylvania's Koo laboratory to analyze the sample. The researchers then validated their findings in 116 other plaque samples, according to a June 6 news release.

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