In a new study published by the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Natural Products, licorice root could help fight the bacteria that causes cavities.
Unfortunately, the licorice candy is not the same as the licorice root. Dried licorice root has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries and a clinical study conducted by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine showed that licorice root helped fight hepatitis C.
It is estimated that 92 percent of adults in the United States have or have had a form of tooth decay. The major compounds in licorice, licoricidin and licorisoflavan A, have been shown to reduce the growth of cavity and periodontitis-causing bacteria. However, licorice root extract could lower potassium levels and raise blood pressure.
Licorice root can be found in some of Tom’s of Maine toothpaste products.