Medicine: New Weapon

The exact cause of tooth decay has always puzzled dentists. Researchers have recently looked with the deepest suspicion at Lactobacillus acidophilus, a germ found in saliva. Thus far, the most practical weapon against the germ, which apparently attacks the teeth from the outside, has been fluorine, introduced into the enamel as the teeth are being formed.

Last week a nonprofit group called the Eastern Graduate Research Foundation announced a new campaign against Lactobacillus and a three-year program to test it. The new weapon is a tooth powder containing dibasic ammonium phosphate and urea (a synthetic nitrogen compound). The powder is supposed to...

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