Good lollipop kills tooth decaying bacteria

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Washington, Feb 6(UNI) It would surprise many but there are lollipops being licked which can kill tooth bacteria.

Thousands of orange-flavoured lollipops are rolling out of a factory in Grand Rapids, Michigan, into the hands of people who are more than eager to lick them for the sake of killing bacteria in their tooth.

The orange-flavoured, sugar-free lollipop is infused with a natural ingredient found in licorice that kills the primary bacterium causing tooth decay, Streptococcus mutans.

Shi and his lab team of microbiologists at the School of Dentistry have managed to make candy that's actually good for your teeth, Science Daily reported.

The candy is being marketed as Dr. John's Herbal Candy, the lollipop is now available for purchase through a candy manufacturer that licenses the technology from UCLA.

But he has many more in the works to target bacteria wreaking havoc in the nose, ear and gut, to name just a few.

It all emerges from a vision the microbiologist had eight years ago to apply a medical approach to dentistry - to identify the decay-causing pathogens among the 700 kinds of bacteria living in the human mouth.

The idea is to kill bad bacteria without harming the good. Track their presence and then target them with antimicrobial ''smart bombs'' that he and his lab would engineer to kill the bad bacteria without harming the good.

And he's also working on kits to test for these devilish pathogens.

''Part of my wild dream is that one day you will walk into the dentist's office and give a saliva sample to be tested, just as you would give urine and blood samples to doctors,''said Shi the lead researcher.

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