Study shows that cheese combats tooth decay
If new research is to be believed, cheese could help prevent the development of cavities because it neutralises the plaque acid that causes decay. Researchers have discovered that the dairy product makes the mouth more alkaline, which is a less hospitable environment for plaque to form on the teeth – cheese also creates a protective film that prevents acid building up throughout the day.
The higher pH level on the surface of the teeth provides better protection against dental erosion, which leads to cavities and more extensive decay. The research, carried out by the Academy of General Dentistry in the US, divided 68 children aged between 12 and 15 into three groups; the first was asked to eat a portion of cheese every day, the second a sugar-free yoghurt, and the third to drink a glass of milk – before rinsing their mouths out. The pH levels were measured before and after the test and the results showed that there was no change in the groups that ate the yoghurt or drank the milk, but those that ate the cheese showed a large increase in the alkaline content around their teeth.
It is believed that this increase is caused by more saliva being produced, which helps to maintain a healthy pH level, and also due to the chemical compounds found in cheese that form a protective layer on the teeth to prevent acid attacks. A spokesperson for the research groups stated that this suggested ‘cheese has anti-cavity properties.’