Cheese May Help Reduce Risk of Cavities

CheeseDairy products can be beneficial to your bone health and dental health, and recent research suggests that cheese in particular may help protect your teeth from cavities.

Cheese Grilled in Dental Study

 
The conclusions of a study conducted by the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) and published last year in General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed journal of the AGD, found that cheese consumption resulted in a significant drop in the acids that cause plaque development and lead to tooth decay and cavities.

The study sampled 68 adolescent participants between the ages of 12 and 15. Researchers examined dental plaque pH levels in the subjects before and after they consumed one of three dairy-based products: cheese, milk or sugar-free yogurt.

Each of the participants consumed the dairy good for three minutes then rinsed his or her mouth with water. Researchers measured the acidity levels in the participants’ mouths at 10, 20 and 30 minutes following the dairy product consumption and rinsing. Subjects who had milk or yogurt experienced no significant changes in pH, but those who ate cheese showed a rapid rise in pH and decline in acidity at each time interval.

Say Cheese

Maybe it’s no surprise we indicate we want people to smile for a picture with the phrase, “Say cheese!” Cheese and other dairy products like milk contain compounds thought to adhere to teeth enamel and help limit the damage that can be caused by fermentable carbohydrates, a major source of tooth decay and cavities.

Cheese also contains pyrophosphates, a compound found in fluorides and toothpastes that can help remineralize teeth. Researchers involved with the AGD cheese study believe that the lower acidity associated with cheese consumption may also be related to increased saliva production, which is your mouth’s natural response to restore and maintain a median acidity level.

While some cheeses can be high in saturated fats and sodium, low-fat and no-fat dairy cheeses have the same protective properties, according to a CBS News piece on the study and the dental benefits of cheese.

Other Foods Beneficial to Your Dental Health

Your oral health directly affects your overall health, and there has been a growing amount of research in recent years into how your diet affects your dental health as well as your systemic health. Cheese, for example, is not alone in demonstrating protective dental health properties.

Other foods shown to help prevent tooth decay include:

  • Apples
  • Cranberries
  • Peanuts
  • Unsweetened yogurt

It’s important to remember that a healthy diet alone is not enough to prevent oral health problems like tooth decay and gum disease. A quality dental hygiene routine that includes daily brushing and flossing, and regular checkups with your dentist, is critical to your long-term health.

If you’re looking for a knowledgeable, compassionate dentist in the Austin, Texas, area, please contact Dr. Dan Matthews online or call our office at 512-452-2273 to learn why we’re one of Austin’s best-kept secrets.

Dan Matthews DDS
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Austin, Texas, 78746
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