New Study Suggests Dairy Helps Prevent Cavities

There’s good news for all you cheese and dairy lovers; a recent study suggests consuming these calcium rich products may actually help maintain good oral health and ward off cavities.

It’s common knowledge that certain dairy products including milk and yogurt can fortify the bones in your body, yet that philosophy has only recently expanded into the arena of oral health. Dentists have had little research to fall back on to make such connections, but that could soon change.

New research published from General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), suggests consuming cheese and additional dairy products may actually prove beneficial to preventing the common cavity.

Tests were conducted across a sample of 68 subjects that ranged in age from 12 – 15, researchers paying particularly close attention to dental plaque pH present in the subjects’ mouths before and after consuming various dairy products including cheese, milk and yogurt.

It’s important to note that a pH level that dips below 5.5 places a person at risk for developing cavities from tooth erosion, a process that occurs by slowly damaging the protective enamel. The chances for such erosion to occur are significantly lower when the tooth exhibits a level exceeding 5.5.

The test subjects were then assigned random groups and instructed to consume cheese, milk or sugar-free varieties of yogurt. The pH levels were then tested in intervals of 10, 20 and 30 minutes following the short meal.

Researchers noted those who consumed milk and yogurt experienced no change in pH levels, something actually deemed beneficial. Those who consumed cheese actually experienced increased pH levels at rapid intervals. Researchers suggest the latter discovery could potentially be attributed to saliva, the mouth naturally maintaining acidity levels.

The study suggests dairy products could be beneficial against cavities, news that should also delight some dieticians who advocate alternative options to carbs and sugar-filled snacks.