Is Chocolate Good Or Bad For Your Teeth?

The consensus up until now has been that chocolate is bad for your teeth. It is high in sugar and sugar causes cavities, right? Wrong. Sugar helps cause cavities but it is not solely responsible. A number of factors come together to create tooth decay including sugar and pathogenic oral bacteria. Pathogenic oral bacteria act upon the sugars in your mouth ingesting them and producing acid as a result. It is the acids that eat away at the enamel of your teeth forming cavities.  So, the question is…is chocolate good or bad for your teeth?

Health Benefits of Chocolate

Various research regarding chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, has indicated that a square of dark chocolate a day can lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack by almost 40 percent. Chocolate also is high in minerals such as copper, magnesium, and iron. It is high in antioxidants, flavonoids, and can help increase good cholesterol. Research also indicates that chocolate may help fight cavity causing bacteria.

Cocoa Bean Husk

The cocoa bean husk from cocoa beans that are used to make chocolate have been proven to have antibacterial properties that can combat tooth decay. These antibacterial properties help eliminate the bad bacteria that feed upon the sugars in your oral cavity and produce harmful, enamel eating acids. By reducing harmful oral bacteria, eating chocolate can balance out the levels of sugar and bacteria in your mouth. This Japanese research study has caused chocolate to be viewed in a new light. As a result, cocoa bean husk extract is being considered for use in mouthwashes and toothpastes. The cocoa bean husk is not an ingredient in chocolate but may begin to be included due to its oral health benefits.

About Your Lake Forest Dentist:

Aside from providing dependable family, general, and restorative dentistry services to our community, Dr. James Fondriest also holds respected academic appointments at the Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, FL, and the Spear Institute in Scottsdale, AZ, and he is an adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of Florida Dental School. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, Dr. Fondriest combines his impressive array of experience with modern technology and caring, compassionate, knowledgeable staff, and we proudly serve patients from Chicago and all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (847) 234-0517.