Can Tasty Tidbits Prevent Tooth Decay?

mouth with sugar-covered lips and a sugar covered orange peelWe all know that we have to brush and floss our teeth daily in order to maintain good oral/dental health, says Danbury CT dentist Jay M. Marks, DMD. We know that if we don’t maintain good oral health, that not only can we get dental decay, but studies have shown that we can develop cardiovascular diseases, cancers of the pancreas, Alzheimer’s and other systemic diseases.

In our mouths, we have both “good” and “bad” bacterias, which balance each other out. How can this fact lead to a tasty morsel, (which most of us know not eat, or to eat in moderation), which can prevent tooth decay?! What could this tidbit possibly be?
The purpose of us cleaning our teeth is to remove the bugs that cause decay, while allowing other bacteria to remain. Research in Germany developed new sugar free candies that have bacteria that are dead, and which combine with the bad bugs, to negate their decay producing effects. After we eat, the bad bacteria on our teeth give off acids, which erode tooth enamel, and causes tooth decay.

The decay causing bugs are Streptococcus Mutans, and the good bugs are heat killed Paracasei Lactobacillus.When the 2 bacteria combine, the Streptococcus Mutans are prevented from reattaching to the teeth, and get washed away by our saliva. The study had patients eat 5 candies over a 1 ½ day period, during which they could not perform any oral hygiene procedures. These patients had significant lowering of the bad bacteria. Those eating a candy with twice the amount of good bugs as the standard amount, showed a reduction in bad bacteria after eating only 1 candy! Everyone had a reduction after eating just 5 candy pieces in 1½ days. The sugar free candies also stimulated saliva flow, which washes away the bacteria and acids.

So the next time your sweet tooth calls out to you, ask your local store for the candy with the dead bugs in it. If they give you a hard time, and you need other preventive measures, please contact us.