Cheese: an important ally for your teeth
For all you cheese fanatics out there, you’re in luck! Many studies have shown that cheese does absolute wonders for your oral health!
The high levels of calcium and phosphorus in cheese help to remineralize tooth enamel and prevent erosion, as well as helping to balance the pH levels in your mouth. Calcium, especially, is very good at helping to put back essential minerals your teeth and gums may have lost due to sugary or acidic foods. This means less harmful mouth acids and bacteria, which also means fewer cavities! Hurrah!
Cheese is also the ultimate saliva maker! Our teeth and gums rely solely on the nutrients in our saliva to efficiently remineralize tooth enamel, as well as to help neutralize mouth acids, so it’s important to have a continuous flow of saliva to keep flushing away those nasty toxins and excess sugars.
The cheese Study
According to a study published in the May/June 2013 issue of General Dentistry, it was discovered that cheese, as well as other dairy products, may help to protect teeth against cavities.
The study randomly assigned 68 participants aged 12 to 15, to one of three groups: cheddar cheese, milk or sugar-free yogurt. The subjects consumed their appointed dairy product for three minutes and rinsed with water. Researchers then measured the pH levels in the subjects’ mouths at 10, 20, and 30 minutes after consumption.
The subjects in the milk and sugar-free yogurt groups showed no significant changes in the pH levels in their mouths. However, the pH levels of the subjects who ate cheese increased rapidly at each interval.
Vipul Yadav, the lead author of the study, explains, “the higher the pH level is above 5.5, the lower the chance of developing cavities.”
The study further discovered that the rising pH levels found in the cheese group might have been caused by the increase of saliva production. The protein and fat content in cheese was also found to protect the teeth from cavity-causing acids that are produced as carbohydrates begin to ferment.
“It looks like dairy does the mouth good, not only are dairy products a healthy alternative to carb- or sugar-filled snacks, they also may be considered as a preventive measure against cavities.”– Dr. Seung-Hee Rhee, spokesperson for Academy of General Dentistry
So, if that’s not a good enough excuse to stock up on all your favorite cheeses, we don’t know what is!
Remember, what’s good for your teeth and gums, is good for you!