Want To Prevent Cavities? Say Cheese!

We all know that a healthy diet should include dairy products for bone health. Philadelphia dentist Dr. Pamela Doray wants to share a new study that shows the benefits of dairy, particularly cheese, to oral health.

A study was recently published in a journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) promoting the cavity-fighting benefits of eating cheese and other dairy products.

The pH level of the mouth is an important indicator to oral health and risk level for tooth cavities. A pH level lower than 5.5 increases the risk for tooth erosion, a process that wears away tooth enamel. As this protective layer of the tooth wears away, it increase the risk of developing cavities.

The study sampled 68 subjects ages 12 to 15. The researchers checked each subject’s dental plaque pH to establish a baseline. The subjects were then randomly assigned to three groups. The first ate cheddar cheese, the second drank milk and the third ate sugar-free yogurt. The subjects ate for three minutes and the swished with water. Researchers measured pH levels in the mouths of each subject at 10, 20 and 30 minute intervals.

What they found was that the subjects who consumed cheddar cheese had a rapid increase in pH levels at each interval compared to the other two groups who had no changes. Dr. Doray says that the study provides preliminary evidence that cheese may hold anti-cavity properties.

Researchers say the benefits of eating cheese could be due to increased saliva production, which is the body’s natural way of balancing acidity in the mouth. Cheese requires chewing, which stimulates saliva, while drinking milk or eating yogurt does not require the same function.

“The most important thing to remember,” says Dr. Doray, “is to maintain a balanced, healthy diet that includes dairy, fresh fruits and vegetables. Instead of reaching for candy or chips, go for the cheese. It’s a healthier choice and it could also help you fight cavities.”

The study sampled children, but kids aren’t the only ones who get cavities. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2005-2008, one in five people had an untreated tooth cavity. The survey also noted that 75% of adults have an existing dental restoration such as a filling or dental crown.

Prevention is the best way to fight cavities but if you already have problems, Dr. Doray can help. We offer a full range of cosmetic dentistry treatments to repair teeth with cavities, old metal fillings or broken tooth caps.

As Philadelphia’s only Accredited Member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Doray is a top choice for patients who want beautiful, healthy results. Depending on your needs and goals, Dr. Doray may recommend tooth colored fillings, ceramic inlays or onlays or porcelain crowns.

Contact our Philadelphia dentist office to learn more about treatment options for tooth cavities and to schedule your visit with Dr. Pamela Doray.