Cheese May Help Prevent Cavities

Eating foods that are high in calcium is generally considered to be good for you, as your body uses up calcium and magnesium, and your bones and teeth need their calcium replenished every so often. But it turns out that consuming foods that are high in calcium may actually help prevent the formation of cavities, a process known as cavitation. A recent study released in the April/May issue of General Dentistry goes into the details of the link between dairy products and the prevention of cavities.

swiss-cheese

The Study

The study that gave us this information was carried out in the following way: 68 patients aged 12 to 15 were assigned into three groups. The first was given cheese to eat, the second milk to drink and the third a sugar free yogurt. Afterwards their mouths were tested for their pH levels, in 10, 20 and 30 minute intervals. Acidic pH levels are the best place for bacteria to live, and are the conditions most likely to result in cavitation. The folks who were given milk to drink and yogurt to eat showed no change in their mouths pH levels, but the folks who ate the cheese did. They experience a shift into the pleasant zone of being above 5.5, and this stayed that way for all three tests. The cheese also has some kind of proteins that adhere to the tooth surface and bond with the enamel of human teeth.

Implications

This study implies that eating cheese is actually good for your teeth, as it shifts the pH into the good levels that make it hard for bacteria to live, and the enamel is actually strengthened, not to mention that eating calcium is always good for your teeth anyhow. Cheese and dairy based sweets thus may be the way out of having terrible teeth if you like sweets, or some kind of milk enzyme to eat after eating candy. In many places in Eastern Europe, such as in Hungary, there is a kind of sweet quark that resembles cheese, and cream cheese is also consumed here, so it would be a good place to start testing if these dairy products also have this enzyme.       

 

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