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How Dark Chocolate Helps Fight Off Cavities

Posted on 7/30/2017 by Thomas Mahar
Dark chocolate can help fight cavities.
No, you didn't read the title wrong. Dark chocolate can fight off cavities. That can't be possible! You’ve been told your whole life that chocolate causes cavities. This is true, chocolate causes cavities, but the guilt varieties are milk chocolate and white chocolate, not dark chocolate.

Milk chocolate and white chocolate have a higher milk content and also a higher sugar content than dark chocolate. The key is in the cocoa, the main ingredient in all chocolates. Dark chocolate, slightly more bitter than other chocolates, has a higher cocoa content than milk chocolate and white chocolate. Cocoa has several compounds that help your dental health.

What Does Dark Chocolate Have In It?

Dark chocolate has three compounds that can improve your dental health. All three are antioxidants. First, cocoa is a good source of polyphenols. Polyphenols are antioxidants that work on the bacteria in your mouth. This bacteria is called oral streptococci. It produces the acid that is known to damage your tooth enamel. The polyphenols work to neutralize the microorganisms that cause tooth decay, can cause infections in your gums, and can also cause bad breath.

Dark chocolate also has an antioxidant that is called flavonoid. Flavonoids contain a compound called epicatechin. This compound has been proven to slow tooth decay. CBH, a white crystalline powder extracted from cocoa bean husks, has been found to be more effective against fighting tooth decay than fluoride.

Tannins, which give dark chocolate its bitter taste and dark color, help to stop bacteria from sticking to your teeth. The molecules of the dark chocolate tannins bind to the bacteria before the plaque can form. With no plaque, there is no decay.

As a group the dark chocolate contains four times the antioxidants that green tea has. Eating dark chocolate releases antioxidants into the saliva, which has been shown to fight periodontal disease, yet another benefit as periodontal disease can reach your bloodstream and cause heart problems. Try to eat dark chocolate that is 70% cocoa it should be listed on the ingredient label. If you have any questions, or if you would like to learn more, please call us today at (315) 766-2770.

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