Chocolate prevents cavities. Wait. What?
Posted on 7/10/2023 by Greg Kammeyer
|Chocolate prevents cavities. Wait. What?
March 7, 2023
As a chocolate lover, Barbara Tritz has done her research about the health advantages of dark chocolate, including that it inhibits bacterial growth on teeth.
Barbara Tritz, MSB, BSDATE, RDH
From RDH online Chocolate lovers, rejoice! I love chocolate too, so I did my research about its many health advantages. The key is, the darker the better, and I recommend at least 70% cacao. For me darker than that isn’t as tasty.
The magic in those little cocoa beans is due to the tannins, polyphenols, and flavonoids that are strong antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that neutralize free radicals and prevent cell damage. Free radicals cause “oxidative stress” and cell damage, which is bad for your body and is related to many chronic diseases. Chocolate to the rescue!
The tannins inhibit bacterial growth on teeth. This reduces plaque biofilm. Polyphenols neutralize the bacteria that cause bad breath, preventing gum disease and stopping tooth decay. This reduces strep mutans and strep sobrinus that cause dental diseases. The flavonoids slow tooth decay.
One of the ingredients in the cacao seeds is theobromine, which is a safe substance for humans, unlike fluoride. And unlike fluoride, it's safe to swallow. There's even a DIY chocolate toothpaste recipe from Dr. Mark Bruhenne. There's also a readymade chocolate toothpaste available on Amazon.
So, chocolate lovers, relax and enjoy your favorite treat ... in moderation! My dentist told me that one dark chocolate square a day will provide chocolate's many health benefits.
Yours for better health,
Greg Kammeyer, DDS, MS, DABOI
Board Certified in Implant Dentistry