New Research Confirms Old Convictions – Cheese May Prevent Cavities

For decades now, cheese – particularly cheddar – has been the go-to after meal treat recognized by researchers and parents alike as a way to – if not prevent than – at least lessen the likelihood of dental cavities. A new study conducted by Vipul Yadav, MDS appears to confirm earlier studies suggesting that eating cheese helps to prevent cavities. The study sampled a group of 68 youth aged 12-15 to determine the effect on oral pH levels after the consumption of cheese, milk or sugar free yogurt on teeth.

Concluding that the study helps to prove exactly how these products work to protect oral health, Seung-Hee says, “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.”

As a pH level lower than 5.5 puts a person at risk for tooth erosion, (a process that wears away the tooth’s protective enamel) the authors of the study set out to record dental plaque pH in the subjects’ mouths before and after consuming either cheese, milk, or sugar-free yogurt. After three minutes of eating followed by swishing with water the pH level of each subject’s mouth was measured at 10, 20, and 30 minutes intervals. Results concluded;

  • Milk – no changes in the pH levels were demonstrated
  • Sugar-free yogurt – no changes in the pH levels were demonstrated
  • Cheddar cheese – a rapid increase in pH levels at each time interval

These conclusions strongly suggest that cheese has very real anti-cavity properties. The report indicated that the rising pH levels from eating – and actively chewing the cheese – likely helped to increase saliva production, which acts as the mouth’s natural defense against harmful cavity causing bacteria. It is also quite likely that health promoting compounds found in cheese may adhere to tooth enamel and help further protect teeth from corrosive acid.

More good news about cheese

An earlier study conducted by researcher Dr. Judy Buttriss, science director for the British Nutrition Foundation pointed to a protein found in cheese called casein. Casein, when broken down through the process of chewing combines with the calcium and phosphates of the cheese. This process is thought to aid in the restoration of the minerals in tooth enamel essentially forming a protective barrier.

Buttriss’s study at that time determined that the proteins found in cheese reacts with sugars effectively neutralizing their corrosive effect on tooth enamel, suggesting that by eating cheese prior to other foods or sweet desserts there may be a higher level of protection from cavities.

Moderation is the key – and more reasons to eat cheese

Cheese is naturally high in calcium, protein, phosphorus and vitamin A, all of which help to support bone health, including supporting the jaw bone – making it more resistant to the destructive effects of periodontal or gum disease. Obviously, you don’t need to eat a large slab of cheese to reap the benefits—realistically; a small chunk about the size of 1-inch cube – vigorously chewed – is enough to provide protection for your teeth. To avoid high calories associated with whole cheese low-fat options are also available at most grocery stores.

Clearly some foods and beverages are better for teeth than others, cheese being among the more recommended. It is always a good idea to avoid foods that might get stuck to teeth such as; chips, candy or cookies. Instead, eat food that protects teeth like cheese as well as fresh fruits and vegetables, which naturally help to increase saliva flow. Also, adopting a practice of rinsing after eating will help to wash away food particles.

Resources and more information:

Latest Study Shows that Early Exposure to BPA May Damage Tooth Enamel … and a whole lot more.

The latest evidence in a growing body of research on the harmful effects of the chemical BPA –  which is generally used to harden common household plastics – Bisphenol A (BPA) is now demonstrating damaging consequences to the natural development of the enamel of teeth. In this study led by Ariane Berdal of the Université Paris-Diderot and Sylvie Babajko, results on the teeth of rats treated with low daily doses of BPA appear to show damage to tooth enamel, echoing a pathology of tooth enamel which is turning up in children today between the ages of 6 and 8.

Analysis of results in the test rats showed numerous features that bear a striking resemblance to a condition called MIH (Molar Incisor Hypomineralisation) that specifically targets first molars and permanent incisors. This enamel pathology is found in roughly 18 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 8 and causes teeth to be hypersensitive to pain and predisposed to cavities. This latest study appears to be pointing to BPA exposure as the culprit in the increasing cases of MIH, which may be only the tip of the iceberg.

Why is this a big deal?

BPA is a chemical compound used in the manufacture of food and beverage containers such as water, juice or soda bottles and, most damaging of all; in the production of babies’ bottles. It is also used for the protective films inside drinks cans and food tins. BPA is the key element in polycarbonate synthetics and epoxy resins — about three million tons being produced annually all over the world. With so much BPA in products today, significant amounts of BPA are showing up in human blood, urine, and able to infiltrate amniotic liquid and placentas – potentially affecting developing fetuses. Earlier studies on this toxic substance have shown that it has adverse effects on the reproduction, development and metabolism of laboratory animals and is suspected of causing the same effects on humans.

Early damage to teeth may indicate more problems down the road

Significant to the Berdal study, the first telltale indicator of damage caused by the early introduction of endocrine disruptors, (including BPA) was the appearance of “white marks” on the incisors of rats treated. The researchers decided to define the characteristics of incisors of rats treated with low doses of BPA and to compare these with the characteristics of teeth in humans suffering from MIH. Macroscopic observation of marks on both series of teeth tested showed similarities, specifically; fragile and brittle enamel – the earliest signs associated with the presence of BPA and perhaps the precursor of more BPA associated health problems down the road.

How babies are affected by BPA

When you consider that BPA is so prevalent in our world today that about 90 percent of the population has it coursing through their blood stream and sensitive tissues, obtained primarily by eating foods that come from containers made with BPA. It is also floating freely in our environment, in the air we breathe, in dust particles, and in our water supply. Although mature adults are also at risk for the health consequences associated with BPA, fetuses and young children have the most to lose. Babies who are fed formula using polycarbonate bottles are especially at risk. A Swiss study conducted in 2010 revealed that babies and infants actually absorb the most BPA, primarily through the use of baby bottles, on average taking in 0.8 micrograms of BPA per kilogram of body weight. Harmful even in small doses –BPA is a hormonally active substance that mimics the natural hormone estrogen and as an anti-androgen. Even small amounts of BPA in the system can have a negative impact on sexual development, especially for male fetuses and growing babies. So alarming are the results of on-going studies that the FDA has begun to express more concern about the potential effects of BPA on the endocrine system; brain, behavior, and prostate glands – particularly in fetuses, infants and young children (developing bodies of children are less efficient at eliminating toxic chemical substances from their systems).

According to Sylvie Babajko, a source sited in the article on Berdal study, “Insofar as BPA has the same mechanism of action in rats as in men, it could also be a causal agent of MIH. Therefore, teeth could be used as early markers of exposure to endocrine disruptors acting in the same way as BPA and so could help in early detection of serious pathologies that would otherwise have occurred several years later.”

 

Oil Pulling – A New Approach to Removing Oral Toxins

Oil Pulling – A New Approach to Removing Oral Toxins

A simple practice known as ‘oil pulling’ may be one of the very best ways to prevent or treat mouth and gum disease. It has been a popular and practical exercise of Ayurvedic medicine for ages and was more recently introduced to Western cultures by a Dr. F. Karach, M.D. in the early 90s. Karach advocated oil pulling due to the results he detailed in the treatment of a variety of of illnesses including everything from migraine headaches and bronchitis, to gum disease, leukemia and heart disease – just to name a few.

A 2009 study conducted by researchers Asokan, Emmadi, Chamundeswari seemed to back up earlier claims and highlight the effectiveness of oil pulling on the treatment of gum disease. This trial involved swishing sesame oil to test it against plaque-induced gingivitis in 20 test subjects, and to compare its efficacy with chlorhexidine mouthwash. Results concluded that there was a significant reduction in “… the plaque index, modified gingival scores and total colony count of aerobic microorganisms in the plaque of adolescents with plaque-induced gingivitis.”

How oil pulling works

Longtime practitioners of oil pulling recommend using sesame, safflower, sunflower or vegetable oil but recently the anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties of coconut oil has made it the preferred go-to oil to use. Practicing oil pulling is a simple process that starts with swishing a tablespoon of your preferred oil back, forth and around the mouth and teeth for anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes –followed by a thorough rinse and routine brushing. By adopting this practice into your oral care routine – and doing it first thing in the morning, you may begin to reap some of the benefits including:

• Healthier gums
• Whiter teeth
• A significant reduction of plaque and tartar
• Fresher breath

Killing bacteria with oil pulling

At any given moment, the human mouth contains an assortment of active microbes, with bacteria being the most prolific. Experts estimate that more than 100 million microbes thrive in every milliliter of saliva – containing upwards of 600 different species of bacteria — some beneficial, others harmful. Without following a regime of proper oral hygiene, the nastier bacteria will eventually collect and form a sticky film on teeth and tongue. Left untreated plaque and other bacteria can flow into the digestive tract and potentially cause, or aggravate, a wide variety of chronic health issues.

The enzymes naturally found in food grade oils are thought to help pull toxins, pus and mucus away from not only teeth, gums and tongue, but also from the body’s cells, blood and digestive tract. Ayurveda suggests that oil pulling works by purifying, cleansing and detoxifying the entire system by removing harmful toxins. In Ayurveda each section of the human tongue is connected to corresponding vital organs of the body such as lungs, kidneys, stomach, colon, liver, spine, heart and small intestines. By keeping the teeth and tongue free of toxic buildup through the practice of oil pulling, you’re actually helping to keep the whole body healthy.

Conclusion

Proper dental hygiene is not only important for oral health, it is essential to all aspects of wellness. Adding oil pulling to already established oral care techniques including brushing and flossing and avoiding sugars and processed foods, it is even more possible to maintain a healthier mouth and body.

More Information:

http://www.jaim.in/article.asp?issn=0975-9476;year=2011;volume=2;issue=2;spage=64;epage=68;aulast=Singh#ref19

http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/article%20oil%20pulling.htm
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/12/08/coconut-oil-combats-tooth-decay.aspx
http://www.oilpulling.com/
http://www.earthclinic.com/Remedies/oil_pulling.html
http://hubpages.com/hub/Health_Benefits_of_Oil_Pulling_
http://www.homemadebodycleanse.com/cleanse-recipes/sunflower-oil-pull.htm
http://www.jonbarron.org/article/oil-pulling-detoxing

And — How Coconut Oil Can Be Used As A Mouthwash (VIDEO)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/02/coconut-oil-mouthwash-video_n_2375038.html

Resources: Asokan S, Emmadi P, Chamundeswari R. – Effect of oil pulling on plaque induced gingivitis: A randomized, controlled, triple-blind study. Indian J Dent Res 2009;20:47-51.