Cheese may prevent cavities
Although it has benefits for bone health, cheese usually is not thought of as healthy food. For starters, It can be a source of a lot of fat in our diets. But, according to a study published in the current issue of General Dentistry, it may do some good things to our teeth. Researchers say that by increasing the pH level in our mouth, cheese can help protect teeth from cavities.
In this study, 68 subjects were evaluated for the dental plaque pH in their mouths both before and after eating cheese, milk and sugar-free yogurt. The subjects were assigned randomly into groups, with each group consuming a different dairy product for three minutes. They then swished with water and were re-evaluated for pH levels in their mouths 10, 20 and 30 minutes after consumption.
A mouth pH level lower than 5.5 puts a person at risk for tooth erosion, which wears away the enamel of teeth. Likewise, if a person's pH level is above 5.5, they are less likely to develop cavities. While the milk and yogurt consumers saw no change in pH levels, those who ate cheese saw a rapid increase in pH levels at each time interval.
The researchers suspect that cheese increases saliva production and that compounds in cheese can adhere to tooth enamel and protect it from acid.