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Candy that helps protect teeth against cavities?

If you enjoy candy, chewing gum and other sweets, you’re in for a treat thanks to a new cavity-fighting technology.

Sweets will soon be marketed with "CaviStat," an invention of New York’s Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine that counteracts the tooth decay process by integrating the powerful anti-acid, buffering and remineralizing benefits of saliva.

"CaviStat can be considered to be a super-saliva complex that picks up where fluoride has left off," said Dr. Israel Kleinberg, lead researcher and founding chair of Stony Brook’s department of oral biology and pathology. "By mimicking the profound benefits of saliva, we are able to attack all stages of the tooth decay process at the same time."

Saliva provides significant protection against tooth decay. Dental plaque, the sticky biofilm of bacteria that grows on tooth surfaces, contains a mix of many types of microorganisms. Tooth decay occurs when sugars from food are broken down to acids by certain types of bacteria in the dental plaque biofilms.

CaviStat contains arginine, an amino acid present in saliva that is broken down by certain plaque bacteria that produce the acid-neutralizing alkali. The arginine is linked and acts in conjunction with calcium, bicarbonate and carbonate, which are also natural to saliva and provide additional cavity fighting benefits by strengthening tooth structure.

Researchers and corporate America are partnering to have the cavity fighting properties of CaviStat added to candy and foods like chewing gum, gelatin chews, powdered candy, even chewable vitamins.

Please contact the ADA if you have questions about this article.

©2010 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

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