Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Can Licorice Fight Tooth Decay and Gum Disease?

Licorice Root
Photo Credit: brook a schneider

Surprisingly, the answer is YES, according to a new study.

Scientists are reporting identification of two substances in licorice -- used extensively in Chinese traditional medicine -- that kill the major bacteria responsible for tooth decay and gum disease, the leading causes of tooth loss in children and adults. In a study in ACS' Journal of Natural Products, they say that these substances could have a role in treating and preventing tooth decay and gum disease.

This calls for more investigation, especially since licorice root can cause some problems e.g. interaction with some prescription drugs. Moreover, we are not talking licorice candy here.

But, the mechanism of action should be explored.

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