Researchers at the UCLA School of Dentistry have developed a new kind of mouthwash that has the potential to eliminate tooth decay and cavities. The mouthwash utilizes a new type of anti-microbial technology. A recent clinical study, involving 12 subjects showed remarkable results. Those who rinsed just once with the new mouthwash almost completely eliminated the S. mutans bacteria, known to cause tooth decay. Dental infections are one of the most common ailments in the United States. Unlike other parts of the body, the mouth is exposed every day and is the first line of defense against external organic material. Dental caries, commonly known as tooth decay or cavities, affect over half of all children and the vast majority of adults. The nation spends over $70 billion annually on dental services, mostly going to the treatment of dental caries. Typical mouthwash contains a broad spectrum of antibiotics, which attack all bacteria, but are only effective for a 12-hour period. They kill the bad bacteria which cause tooth decay, but also many good bacteria, which are needed for human health. The result can be a disruption of the body’s ecological balance, potentially leaving the body susceptible to bacterial, yeast, and parasitic infections. The new mouthwash concentrates its attack on specified bacteria that are known to be bad. It is also effective for a more extended period of time. If the FDA approves the mouthwash for general use, it would be the first such anti-dental caries drug since fluoride came around back in the 1950’s.