Before you read any more, know that we are referring to the plant, not the candy. Still with us?
Scientists recently identified two substances – both found in licorice roots – that can kill decay-causing bacteria. The dried roots of the licorice plant, they found, contain two compounds known as licoricidin and licorisoflavan A. These chemicals effectively kill two major bacteria that cause cavities, as well as another bacterium that can cause gum disease.