November 29, 2017
Are you a big fan of cheese? You might want to consider ordering a plate during your next dinner outing. Recent studies from the May/June issue of General Dentistry lists several benefits of eating cheese for your teeth. On top of that, your Lake Forest dentist agrees.
To see how you can your favorite cheeses can reduce cavities, take a look inside and learn the details of the study. You’ll also learn the science behind cheese’s additional oral benefits.
A Detailed Overview of the Study
Researchers assigned 68 participants aged 12-15 to four different groups. Each group consumed different types of dairy products, including cheese, milk, sugar-free yogurt, and paraffin. Paraffin is a white, colorless, and odorless soft solid that acted as a control for the study.
After chewing and/or swishing the dairy products in their mouth for three minutes, the participants spit them out and rinsed their mouths with water. Researchers then measured the dental plaque pH level on four different areas of their mouths. They did this after initial consumption, as well as 10, 20, and 30 minutes after consumption.
Which Foods Came Out On Top?
The researchers eventually concluded milk, sugar-free yogurt, and paraffin to have no significant changes in participants’ oral pH level. However, cheese showed more promise as those who ate it saw their pH level increase rapidly at each time interval. This suggests cheese to have anticavity properties.
Beverages like milk contain calcium which is good for bone health, but is also known for drying out the mouth and containing more sugar than other dairy products. This is also the case for yogurt, however sugar-free yogurt is less likely to produce plaque than yogurt with sugar and a better alternative to sugary and sticky snacks.
The Science and Cause Behind Cheese’s Oral Benefits
If your mouth’s pH level is lower than 5.5 than it is considered to be more acidic and therefore at higher risk of eroding your tooth’s enamel. As your mouth’s pH level rises, your risk for tooth erosion decreases along with it. The study findings suggest the cheese caused more saliva production in the participants’ mouths, effectively lowering their mouths’ pH level.
It’s also worth noting that compounds commonly found in cheese can adhere to tooth enamel. This can help protect teeth from acidic compounds harboring in your mouth. This shows cheese to be a fair alternative to other carb- and sugar-filled snacks you might consume.
Consider making a change in your diet today. To learn more about foods to include for your oral health, ask your dentist in Lake Forest at your next appointment!
About the Author
Dr. Douglas B. Campbell, D.D.S., graduated from the University of Illinois College Dentistry in 1982 before returning to his hometown Lake Forest, IL. During his 30 years of providing dental care to the community, Dr. Campbell has continued his education with courses at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies and the Dawson Center for Advanced Dental Education. To learn more about him and his practice, you can contact him at (847) 234-4800 or visit his website.
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