Printer Friendly

Cheesy plaque attack.

Cheesy plaque attack

Four years ago, Mark Jensen, director of clinical studies at the University of Iowa dental school in Iowa City, noticed that aged-cheddar, Swiss and Monterey Jack cheeses help fight tooth decay. Although the mechanism of action remains unknown, he and his co-workers have now confirmed that another nine cheeses--Edam, Gouda, Muenster, mozzarella, Port Salut, Roquefort, Romano, Stilton and Tilsit -- perform equally well in limiting tooth decay.

Ordinarily, when carbohydrates such as sugar become trapped in plaque--the film on tooth surfaces that incubates cavity-fostering bacteria -- they are converted to tooth-destroying acids. But in a week-long study, electrodes implanted between the teeth in five volunteers recorded no significant increase in the acidity of plaque when a sucrose (table sugar) tooth rinse followed the subjects' consumption of any of the 12 cheeses. However, plaque acidity increased 1,000-fold--to a pH of 4--when the sugar rinses were not preceded by a cheese snack. In a related experiment involving only cheddar, Jensen found that consumption of this cheese four times daily for two weeks caused a 20 percent remineralization (tooth-surface rebuilding) in synthetic tooth-like materials temporarily attached to root areas and 5 to 10 percent remineralization in materials similar to tooth-crown enamel.

These studies suggest that the 12 tested cheeses, when eaten as snacks, are as benign as sugarless gu--at least in terms of cavity formation, Jensen says. And when eaten--or just chewed without swallowing--before a sweet meal, he adds, they might limit tooth decay by preventing the formation of tooth-demineralizing acids.
COPYRIGHT 1988 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1988, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:cheese found to limit tooth decay
Publication:Science News
Date:Oct 1, 1988
Previous Article:One honey of an alternate to sulfites.
Next Article:EPA agrees to shift research emphasis.

Related Articles
Rinsing away decay; while new inroads in chemical dentistry aren't likely to make the dentist's drill obsolete, they may reduce the need for drilling...
Cashew oil may conquer cavities.
Not all teeth benefit from fluoride.
Mouth paint.
Wash that mouth out with bacteria!
The New Cavity Fighters.
For, a better smile, have some wasabi.
Novel material fights against cavities.
Sealants: basic information, advanced technology.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters