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It probably won’t surprise you hear that sugar is bad for your teeth. (We discussed this in a recent blog post, found here.) And if you checked out last month’s post on Using the Grocery to Save Your Teeth from Decay, then you know that crunchy foods are great for your teeth, with some that even have the ability to clean your teeth!

Today, the team here at 1st In Smiles wants to share three new studies with our Plano, TX neighbors, all having to do with food and your oral health. Take a look at what these three surprising studies reveal about maintaining great oral health. We’ll be interested to see what else comes of them in the future.

Blueberries May Help Combat Gum Disease

As we mentioned in last month’s blog, fresh fruits and veggies can be a great source to keep both your body and teeth healthy. A new study supports this further but with one specific food: blueberries!

A report just published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry tells us that researchers in Canada are seeking out new ways to fight gum disease. Gum disease, or periodontal disease, plagues about half of all Americans. It can result in bleeding, swollen gums, chronic bad breath, gum recession, loose teeth, and even tooth loss. It’s also linked to serious systemic diseases, including diabetes and heart disease.

The Test
After searching various natural sources that can help combat this problem, the researchers found some hope in blueberries. Blueberries contain a natural antibacterial, known as blueberry polyphenols, that have been shown to help fight diseases. So the researchers began to test whether these polyphenols could fight bacterium responsible for gum disease.

The Results
The lab tests not only showed that the blueberry compound stopped bacteria from even forming – it also revealed that the compound helped stave off inflammation, a major factor in developing gum disease.

Right now, the researchers are creating a substance with the blueberry compound that could be used alongside other gum disease treatments. Here’s what they concluded:

“This dual antibacterial and anti-inflammatory action of lowbush blueberry polyphenols suggests that they may be promising candidates for novel therapeutic agents.”

You can read the full story here:

Cheese May Help Strengthen Teeth

Cheese is one of those foods that most people love, whether plain or topped on pizza, pasta, salad, tacos, or burgers. Some cheeses are regularly consumed as part of the heart-healthy Mediterranean Diet. However, many cheeses contain high amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat, so those watching their health try to limit their intake, at least for certain types.

The Question
So overall, is cheese good or bad for you? That’s what researchers have been studying in recent years, specifically about the role cheese plays in your oral health. Just this month, Medical News Today published an article about cheese’s role in tooth decay.

The Answer
Because of its high calcium content, cheese is a good way to strengthen your bones, including your tooth enamel. Here’s what the article said:

“Calcium plays a primary role in the development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth and is also important for blood clotting, wound healing and maintaining normal blood pressure.”

The article also pointed out that lower fat cheeses and organic cheese may be better choices for your overall health. If you have high cholesterol or other health problems, you may want to opt for milk, yogurt, and other low-fat dairy products that also contain high amounts of calcium. The article also recommended eating calcium with vitamin D:

“Always try to pair calcium-rich foods with a source of vitamin D, as vitamin D helps the small intestine to absorb calcium. Two ounces of many kinds of cheese can contain 40-50% of the daily calcium requirement.”

Meat and Dairy May Help Fight Cavities and Gum Disease

Did you know that tonight’s chicken dinner might help your teeth?

The Study
Another study, published this May, reported that an amino acid found in red and white meat, fish, and dairy has stopped plaque from forming on teeth. This amino acid, L-arginine, has already been used to help with tooth sensitivity, but lab studies are now showing promise for warding off plaque, which causes tooth decay and gum disease.

The Solution
“Bacteria like to aggregate on surfaces to form biofilms. Dental plaque is a biofilm,” said Alexander Rickard, one of the study’s head researchers at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. “Biofilms account for more than 50 percent of all hospital infections. Dental plaque biofilms contribute to the billions of dollars of dental treatments and office visits every year in the United States.”

The researchers are continuing both lab studies and clinical trials to figure out exactly how this amino acid can be used to prevent the two largest oral health problems. Read more about the study here:

See Your Plano, TX Dentist Today for Optimal Oral Health

We hope you’ve found these studies as interesting as we have! As researchers continue to discover more ways to preserve your oral health, we’re here to help you keep your smile as healthy as possible, right now! If you want to improve your health and your smile, or if you have questions about how to best take care of your teeth for life, contact us today!