Can a Handful of Fruit a day fight Plaque and Gum Disease Bacteria?
This is the headline in the Daily Mail reporting on a recent scientific study.
The study demonstrated that, in a lab dish, extracts from these fruits, at a particular concentration, could reduce the activity of Strep Mutants (one of the bad boy bugs in your mouth that can cause decay). In a nutshell, extracts found in blueberries and cranberries may have the potential to protect against decay. In the future these extracts may play a role, in the addition to mouthwashes for example. Newspaper headlines however can be misleading. Dentists are not advocating eating lots of cranberries to protect your teeth.
Further research is needed to see whether these benefits can be confirmed and harnessed for use in dental products. We won't be expecting any authentic 'cure it all cranberry’ toothpastes in the immediate future but research may hold the key to exciting developments in preventative dentistry in the future.
In the meantime? Of course eat a handful of fruit, including berries, a day. Fruit has oodles of other fabulous proven benefits such as fibre and vitamins, but don't ditch the toothbrush!
CMcClelland BDS MSc