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Easy ways of preventing Cavities !!

If you’ve heard about cavities a lot and don’t know what it is, well that's a good thing. Maybe because you don’t have it or maybe because you don’t realize that you have it. A cavity is nothing but a tooth decay. In simpler words, a hole is formed in your tooth. While it initially may have started off small, eventually it gets bigger and bigger. Worse, you may ever even know that you’re going through this problem. 

Cavities usually form when you don't have a good oral hygiene lifestyle. And though it isn’t anything serious due tot he various treatments offered to clear the problem, the treatment process could hurt a little bit. The best thing to do would to maintain oral hygiene and go to the dentist for regular check-ups, just to be sure everything is okay.

Now, are there ways to prevent cavities? sure there are. In fact, you even consume some of them on a regular basis, you just didn't know that they were secret cavity killers. We’ll tell you, what they are !!

Coffee may help prevent cavities

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Coffee may help prevent cavities

Along with the added benefits coffee has to provide, It was found that it can also help prevent cavities up to some extent.

Coffee made from roasted coffee beans has antibacterial activities against micro-organisms, including a  specific organism called Streptococcus mutans (.mutans). A microorganism responsible for dental caries.  

According to one researcher, coffee solutions have high anti-adhesive properties because of both their naturally occurring and roasting-induced molecules. 

Upon analyzing samples of green and roasted arabica and robusta coffee from different countries, they found the following results - 

    •  All of the tested samples inhibited S.mutans absorption and showed inhibitory activity ranging from 40.5 % to 98.1 %.
    • However, all green or roasted coffee bean samples were significantly less active than the corresponding roasted coffee beans.

Next, the researchers analyzed caffeine and non-caffeine samples of ground and instant coffee. The results showed - 

    • Instant coffee had as somewhat a higher level of inhibitory activity against S.mutans 
    • Whereas for caffeine and decaf, it was shown that caffeine wasn’t involved in the adhesive properties of coffee solutions.

After analyzing the results, researchers have discovered that trigonelline, a water-soluble compound in coffee was -

    • The primary candidate in contributing to the aroma and flavor of the beverage
    • It was also responsible for contributing to coffee’s anti-adhesive ability.

Researchers are still carrying out further studies to prove that coffee could still assist in the fight against preventing cavities. One of the researchers concluded by saying that the nature of coffee’s both antibacterial and anti-adhesive activity could reduce S.mutans colonization of the tooth surface. And it may also be just as effective as preventing S.mutans induced tooth decay. 

The study was carried out Babriell Gazzani, Ph.D. and a team of researchers from the University of Pavia.

Black Tea can fight off cavities !!

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Black Tea can fight off cavities !!

Initially considered as a way of spending a relaxing evening along with a few snacks, tea may have some other benefits too. 

Researchers have found out that drinking tea may help fight cavities. Interestingly black tea and its components benefit oral health by interfering with harmful plaque bacteria in the mouth, that was responsible for causing gum disease and cavities.

Initially, it was believed that drinking green tea led to the reduction in dental cavities. But now it has been found that black tea, a drink consumed by more than 80 % of the world.

What is so special about Black Tea?

Researchers found the following in black tea -

    • Certain compounds in black tea had the ability to destroy or suppress growth and acid production of cavity-causing bacteria in dental plaque. 
    • Black Tea also affects a bacterial enzyme (glucosyltransferase, funny sounding right)  which was responsible for converting sugars into the sticky matrix material that is used by plaque to adhere to the teeth region.
    • Finally, certain plaque bacteria once exposed to black tea lost their ability to form the clumpy aggregates with other bacteria in plaque thus reducing the total mass of the dental plaque.

Researchers then carried out an experiment and found out that when individuals rinsed with black tea for 30 seconds five times at 3-minute intervals, the bacteria plaque stopped growing and producing acid. A process that broke down teeth and was considered as the major cause of forming cavities.

A researcher went on to say that if individuals sequenced properly between meals and normal hygiene, a reduction in dental caries was very much possible. And that by drinking tea alone, it could have added oral health benefits by controlling through the way of prevention some of the most common issues concerning the mouth - caries and periodontal disease.

The study was carried out by Dr. Christina Wu.

Milk can fight off cavities too !!

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Milk can fight off cavities too !!

Nothing sounds better than a glass of milk. You know what else? Milk can also help cleanse your mouth while enjoying a sip.

Researchers have found that when consumption of dry sugary cereals could cause tooth decay. But here's the best part, drinking a glass of milk can actually help by indirectly washing the mouth after a  sugary breakfast cereal. The milk can help reduce plaque acid levels and may prevent damage to tooth enamel that leads to cavities. 

How are acids formed?

Dry ready-to-eat, sugar added cereals combine refined sugar and starch. So, when these carbohydrates are consumed, bacteria present in the dental plaque on the tooth surfaces produce acids.   

Reports have shown that eating carbohydrates four times daily, or in quantities exceeding 60 g per person per day, increased the risk of cavities.

A study was carried out in which 20 participants ate 20 grams of dry Froot loops cereal and then drank different beverages consisting of whole milk, 100 percent apple juice and tap water. The plaque pH level or acidity was measured with a  device between the premolar teeth after eating at 2 and 5 minutes after eating and later 2 to 30 minutes after drinking a liquid.

The pH in plaque dropped rapidly after consuming cereal alone and remained acidic at pH 5.83 at 30 minutes. 

A point to note : 

    • A  pH below 7 is acidic.
    • A  pH above 7 is basic.
    • pure water has a pH close to 7.

The results showed that 

    • Milk drinkers, after eating sugary cereal showed the highest pH rise fro 5.75 to 6.48 at 30 min.
    • Apple juice drinkers remained at pH 5.84 at 30 minutes.
    • Whereas Water drinkers raised to pH to 6.02.

According to researchers, here are the benefits milk can provide regarding fighting off cavities -

    • Milk was able to reduce the acidity of dental plaque resulting from consuming sugary cereals.
    • Milk helped mitigate the damaging effect of fermentable carbohydrate and overcome the previously lowered plaque pH.
    • Milk with a pH ranging from 6.4 to 6.7 is considered to be a functional food that fights cavities as it promotes tooth remineralization and also inhibits the growth of plaque.

The research was carried out by a team of researchers at the University at Chicago College of Dentistry.

Cheese may prevent tooth decay !!

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Cheese may prevent tooth decay !!

We all know how consuming dairy products can promote both bone growth and one’s overall health. 

 However, it has been found that dairy products can also make up for good oral health. 

So how do cavities occur?

A  pH level lower than 5.5 puts an individual at risk for tooth erosion, which is a process that wears away the enamel, a protective outsider layer around the teeth region. The higher the pH level is above 5.5, the lower the chances of developing cavities.

Researchers carried out an experiment in which individuals from the first group were instructed to eat cheddar cheese, the second group was told to drink milk and the third group to eat sugar-free yogurt. The groups consumed the dairy products for a period of three minutes and then had to rinse their mouths with water. The researchers then measured the pH level of each individual’s mouth at 10,20 and 30 minutes after consumption.

The results showed -

    • The groups who had milk and sugar-free yogurt experienced no changes in pH levels in their mouths.
    • However, individuals who ate cheese, showed a rapid increase in pH levels at each time interval, concluding that cheese did have anti-cavity properties.


The study indicated that the rising pH levels from eating cheese may have occurred due to increasing the saliva production which is the mouth’s natural way to maintain a baseline activity level and is caused by the action of chewing. Additionally, various compounds found in cheese may adhere to tooth enamel and further helps protect the teeth from acid.

Researchers conclude by saying that while dairy products may be a healthy alternative to carbohydrates or sugar-filled snacks, they can also be considered as a preventive measure against cavities.

The study was published in the May/June 2013 issue of General Dentistry.