Cheese and cavities
According to a new study published in the May/june 2013 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, eating cheese and other dairy products might help protect your teeth against cavities.
The study involved 68 subjects, ages 12 to 15. The researchers examined the dental plaque pH in the subjects' mouth before and after consumption of cheese, milke, or sugar-free yogurt. The subjects were split into three groups, each group consuming a different product for three minutes. They were then instructed to swish with water. Researchers measured the pH level of each mouth at 10, 20, and 30 minutes after eating the product.
Those who were in the milk and sugar-free yogurt groups showed no change in the pH level in their mouths. However, the cheese eaters displayed a rapid increase in pH leves at each time interval.
Because a pH level lower than 5.5 puts a person at risk for tooth erosion, the significant increase in pH after eating cheese may actually be beneficial. "The higher the pH level is above 5.5, the lower the chance of developing cavities," explained Vipul Yadav, MDS, lead author of the study.