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Ben Wilcox
Ben is the practice principal at Shore Dental, Sydney. He graduated with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery in 2004 and…

Dental Daily: Eating Cheese May Help Prevent Cavities

December 19, 2013 by Ben Wilcox

Oral HygieneImage via Shutterstock.

We all know that consuming dairy products is vital in maintaining bone and overall health, but, until now, there had been little research on dairy's effects on oral hygiene and health. According to studies from peer-reviewed journal General Dentistry, eating cheese and consuming other dairy products may actually help protect teeth against cavities. Turophiliacs rejoice!

The report, which sampled 68 subjects ranging in age from 12 to 15, looked at the pH levels of dental plaque in subjects' mouths before and after consuming cheese, milk or sugar-free yoghurt. Note: a pH level lower than 5.5 puts a person at risk for tooth erosion, thus, the higher the pH, the lower the chance of developing cavities.

The subjects who consumed milk and sugar-free yoghurt experienced no change in pH levels in their mouths, but the subjects who ate cheese experienced a rapid increase at each recorded time interval. This suggests that cheese, on top of being delicious, also has anti-cavity properties.

Where did the cheese power come from? The study indicated that the increased pH levels may have occurred due to increased saliva production caused by the action of chewing. Saliva is the mouth's natural way to maintain a baseline acidity level. In addition to this, various compounds found in the cheese may adhere to tooth enamel, helping to further protect teeth from acid.

Long story short – raid the dairy aisle in your supermarket, Sydney, and eat more cheese!

To get the nitty gritty on oral hygiene, call your dentist at Shore Dental on  (02) 8999 9505.