How Dark Chocolate Can Help Fight Off Oral Health Issues
Posted on 11/20/2019 by Dr. Leo Townsend, DDS
Everyone loves chocolate, and the health benefits of the darker variety are touted all the time. Dark chocolate has been found to be healthy, in moderation, as it is an antioxidant and can help free the body of cancer-causing free radicals.
It has also been proven to improve mood and reduce your risk of heart disease. Normally, you may hear from us to stay away from dark chocolate, but it can impact your oral health in a positive way.
However, it is important to note when we say “dark chocolate” we do not mean just any old dark chocolate. Many dark chocolates are laced with a lot of sugar and other ingredients that can be bad for your teeth like caramel, nougat, and marzipan. These ingredients can actually stick to your teeth and cause tooth decay. When we say dark chocolate, we mean raw dark chocolate that contains at least 70% or more cocoa.
Oral Hygiene and Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate has been proven to help fight plaque buildup. If you know anything about oral health, you know that plaque is our number one enemy when it comes to oral health. Plaque buildup can lead to many serious problems like tooth decay and gum disease if not gotten rid of properly. Dark chocolate can help prevent plaque buildup because of a natural chemical called polyphenols.
Polyphenols are abundant in dark chocolate and make it harder for bacteria to grow inside the mouth. Because of this, it is recommended to have a little dark chocolate after your meals to prevent bacteria from growing due to the food you just ate.
Since dark chocolate is great at fighting bacteria, it can help with a lot of other problems related to excessive bacterial growth in the mouth. One problem many people face is bad breath. Bad breath is caused by tiny microorganisms and bacteria eating leftover food in your mouth and created waste products. These waste products are what creates bad breath, and dark chocolate can limit the amount of bacteria creating waste products. If you are interested in learning more about oral healthy foods, stop by our office or give us a call.
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