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Teeth are subject to many problems, most of which are caused by bacteria. Unfortunately, the state of medical technology when it comes to control of harmful bacteria in the mouth lags far behind the policing of bacterial populations in other scenarios and locations. It is fairly well understood how bacteria cause gum disease and cavities, meaning which species are responsible and which mechanisms are important, but so far no lasting strategy for removing unwanted oral bacteria or blocking their activities has made it out of the laboratory and into the clinic. Getting rid of bacteria in the mouth is easy, but ensuring that only certain specific types are removed, and keeping them removed past a few hours or days, has turned out to be far more challenging.

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Nonetheless, some promising avenues have emerged, even though they remain somewhere in the process of development. This is the case for methods of regrowth of tooth enamel; I recall discussing a few specific approaches more than a decade ago, and yet here we are, still reliant upon drills and fillings. Some groups have pursued cell and tissue engineering approaches to growing enamel. Back in 2010, a group demonstrated

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