Cheese Can Significantly Reduce Your Risk of Tooth Decay

Posted on 7/15/2019 by Brian Rounds, DDS
Cheese Can Significantly Reduce Your Risk of Tooth DecayDairy products are essential for the health of your teeth and bones. However, a new study has further examined how cheese in particular might protect the teeth from cavities and decay. By better understanding this relationship, you can feel free to snack on cheese guilt-free.

Research Surrounding Cheese and Tooth Decay

A study published in General Dentistry highlighted the benefits of cheese on the teeth. Researchers randomly assigned a group of participants ages 12-15 into four groups: control (paraffin), sugar-free yogurt, milk, and cheese. The participants were asked to chew or swish the product for three minutes before rinsing their mouth out with water. Oral plaque levels were also measured before consumption and after consumption at 10, 20, and 30-minute intervals.

Participants who consumed paraffin, sugar-free yogurt, and milk didn't experience any significant oral pH changes after the study. However, participants who ate cheese experienced a rapid pH level increase at each interval. This suggests that the cheese actually has anti-cavity properties.

Researchers aren't sure exactly why cheese has such a good effect on oral acidity. It could be that chewing on cheese increases saliva production, which neutralizes acid. Also, certain cheese components could adhere to the enamel of the teeth, protecting them from acids that may cause cavities and decay.

Eating cheese also has long-term benefits for the teeth as a good source of calcium and vitamin D. These nutrients help to strengthen the enamel, which is important in order to ward off acid attacks that could lead to decay.

Do you have questions about how your diet may be impacting your oral health? If so, we can help, but remember that healthy food choices are only one component to a healthy mouth. You should still visit our office every six months for your regular checkups. Call us today to set up your next dental appointment.
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