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Cheese Could Combat Cavities

More cheese, milk and other dairy products are what you need to fight cavities.

That’s what a new study in the May/June issue of General Dentistry indicates. The way the mouth reacts after consuming these dairy products serves to protect the teeth from cavities.

A study involving 68 subjects was conducted among people aged 12 to 15. The researchers analyzed the dental plaque pH in the subjects’ mouths prior to and after consuming cheese, milk or sugar-free yogurt. A pH lower than 5.5 makes a person vulnerable to tooth erosion. A pH larger than 5.5 puts at a much lower risk for having cavities.

The study participants were randomly assigned to a group. The first group ate cheddar cheese, the next group drank milk and the final group at sugar-free yogurt. The products were consumed for 3 minutes and then the people swished water around their mouth. After that, pH levels were taken at 10, 20 and 30 minutes after consumption.

The people who consumed milk and sugar-free yogurt didn’t see any changes in pH levels. The cheese eaters, however, showed higher pH levels at each interval, which would lead you to believe that the cheese fights cavities.

Based on the information from the study, the increasing pH levels after eating cheese may stem from the higher saliva production in the mouth. This is the mouth’s natural way to try to become neutral. It’s also possible that the compounds found in cheese may bond with tooth enamel to form protection for the teeth.

This study shows that dairy products are good for oral health in numerous ways. Not only could they provide an option aside from sugary drinks but now they could prevent cavities.

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