A study is published in General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), suggested that cheese can help prevent cavities. The study sampled 68 subjects ranging in age from 12 to 15, looking at the dental plaque pH in the subjects' mouths before and after they had cheese, milk or sugar-free yoghurt.
A pH level below 5.5 puts one at risk for tooth erosion, a process that damages the enamel (or protective outside layer) of teeth. Vipul Yadav, MDS, lead author of the study, said, "The higher the pH level is above 5.5, the lower the chance of developing cavities".
The researchers assigned subjects into groups randomly, instructing the first group to eat cheddar cheese, the second to drink milk and the third group to eat sugar-free yoghurt. The subjects consumed the product for three minutes and then swished with water.
The pH level of each subject's mouth at noted 10, 20, and 30 minutes after consumption. The groups consuming milk and sugar-free yoghurt experienced no changes in the pH levels in their mouths. On the other hand, the group who ate cheese, showed a rapid increase in pH levels at each time interval, to suggest that cheese has anti-cavity properties.
The researchers believe that the rising pH levels from eating cheese could be due to increase in saliva production, which could be caused by the action of chewing. Moreover, the various compounds found in cheese may adhere to tooth enamel and help further protect teeth from acid.
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