Licorice May Help Prevent Tooth Decay

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Licorice May Help Prevent Tooth Decay featured image

OK, we’re not talking about the candy you loved as a kid or the Twizzlers you snack on during the movies, but dried licorice root, a staple in traditional Chinese medicine, has recently been shown to play a role in the prevention of tooth decay and gum disease.

Scientists reported in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Natural Products that two elements in licorice root kill various types of bacteria in the mouth that lead to tooth decay and gum disease, reports ScienceDaily. The researchers say the compounds licoricidin and licorisoflavan A could be used to fight the main problems that lead to tooth loss.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, licorice root has been used to treat stomach ulcers, sore throat and infections caused by viruses. And while it’s available in powder, liquid or capsule form, it can interfere with other medicines and cause dips in potassium, so if you’re considering taking it, be sure to ask your doctor first. Meanwhile, we’ll be standing by to find out what science does next with licorice root for dental care.

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