Valentine’s Day is almost here. You can practically taste the chocolates melting in your mouth. Chocolate has actually been studied as having potential dental health benefits. Unfortunately, most of the chocolate that we might give to our sweethearts is going to be filled with excess sugar, which will not be good for your teeth. Sugar feeds the bacteria that cause cavities. If you indulge in a sweets extravaganza tomorrow, be sure to take extra care with your brushing and flossing routine. Have a very happy Valentine’s Day from your Farmington Hills general dentist, Dr. Aziza Askari, and enjoy this blog about a Japanese study that uncovered some potential dental health benefits from chocolate.
Cocoa Bean Extract and Tooth Decay
A study conducted at Osaka University in Japan focused on cocoa beans (specifically their husks). The goal of the researchers was to check for the anti-bacterial effect on the mouth that the main ingredient of chocolate naturally presents. Since tooth decay and gum disease are issues of infection and inflammation caused by bacteria, this was an exciting potential discovery.
Their theory was tested using water enhanced with extract from the cocoa bean husks. This cocoa husk water was consumed by laboratory rats. A separate group of rats was exposed to Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) which are the specific oral bacteria that cause tooth decay. Once the water was ingested, the rats in both groups were exposed to the same high-sugar diet.
More on the Japanese Study
Researchers observed the rats for a total of three months. The rats that were exposed to the S. mutans presented with an average of 14 cavities each. Rats who had been hydrated by the cocoa bean husk-enhanced water developed an average of six cavities each. This exciting result leads the scientists to the conclusion that humans should be targeted as the next test group. With consistent results, researchers believe that the components of the cocoa bean could be an active ingredient in oral hygiene products in the future.
Schedule an Appointment with Your Farmington Hills General Dentist
Your general dentist in Farmington Hills would love to see you for a consultation or checkup. You can contact Comfort Dental Spa by calling our 48335 dentist office at (248) 474-6434. We are happy to serve patients in Farmington Hills, MI, and surrounding neighborhoods.