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Study identifies 'good' and 'bad' breath bacteria

While past research has connected oral malodor to the proliferation of certain bacteria on the tongue, recent research from the Forsyth Institute and the University of Michigan School of Dentistry indicates another group of bacteria is associated with fresh-smelling breath. Investigators used gene sequencing to compare bacteria found on the tongues of individuals with halitosis and those with fresh breath. While not all samples taken from halitosis sufferers had the same bacterial makeup, three particular strains -- Streptococcus salivarius, Rothia mucilaginosa and a previously uncharacterized strain of Eubacterium -- were the most prevalent species on the tongues of subjects with fresh breath.

From the mouthes of Babe

This weekend I sank my teeth into some delicious beef ribs. But researchers at the Forsyth Institute say they've done one better ? they've sunk pork teeth into rat guts. The experiment involved taking seeded cells from immature teeth of six-month-old pigs and placing them in the intestines of rats (who no doubt were thrilled at the addition). Within 30 weeks, small tooth crowns made of enamel and dentin had formed. Within five years, the Forsythe team says, they hope to be able to harvest teeth of specific size and shape, and five years after that to regrow human teeth.

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