New Research Shows Cheddar Cheese May Help Prevent Caries
Though it’s been well established that dairy products contribute to bone health, little research has been conducted on the relationship between dairy products and oral health. Study results published in the May/ July issue of General Dentistry, however, suggest that the consumption of cheddar cheese may help to protect teeth from caries by raising pH levels.
Researchers in Uttar Pradesh, India, sought to determine how the consumption of three different dairy products might affect dental plaque pH levels. The researchers assembled 68 subjects between the ages of 12 and 15. The participants, who were asked to refrain from brushing for 48 hours prior to the study, were divided into three consumption groups: cheddar cheese, milk, and sugar-free yogurt. After the researchers identified the baseline dental plaque pH level in each participant, the subjects were asked to consume their group product for 3 minutes and then swish with water. Each participant’s pH level was then measured in intervals of 10 minutes, 20 minutes, and 30 minutes. All participants underwent the same method of pH level measurement.
Researchers found that subjects who consumed cheese showed a rapid increase in pH levels 30 minutes after consumption, suggesting that it has the highest anticariogenic properties of the foods tested. Levels of pH in the milk and yogurt groups remained unchanged.