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Fighting cavities could one day be as easy as taking a pill, research shows

University of Florida Health researchers have identified a new strain of bacteria in the mouth that may keep bad bacteria in check — and could lead to a way to prevent cavities using probiotics.

The researchers say the findings could lead to the development of a supplement that patients could take orally to prevent cavities.

While developing an effective oral probiotic will require more research, a possible candidate organism has been identified: a previously unidentified strain of Streptococcus, currently called A12. Robert Burne, Ph.D., associate dean for research and chair of the UF College of Dentistry’s department of oral biology, and Marcelle Nascimento, D.D.S., Ph.D., an associate professor in the UF College of Dentistry’s department of restorative dental sciences, published the findings in late January in the journalĀ Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

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