Really, the polyphenolen in cocoa inhibit the growth of bacteria responsible for the creation of plaques. Polyphenolen from cocao significantly reduce biofilm formation and acid production by these bacteria. The acid production from sucrose was significantly inhibited resulting in a reduction of localized demineralization. . Be aware that chocolate not only contains cacao but also fat and sugar each with their own effects on weight and caries.
The formation of dental plaque, which plays an important role in the development of caries and periodontal disease in humans, could be initiated by several strains of oral streptococci, a kind of bacteria.
There are two roads from carbohydrates to caries pictured in the next figure. The formation of dental plaque leads to localized demineralization due to the accumulation of acids.
Chocolate contains polyphenolen The health benefits of polyphenols include antioxidant, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory effects. We previously discussed underlying mechanisms of cardioprotective properties of chocolate. But how do they protect against dental caries?
In animal research it has been shown that cocoa polyphenols inhibit the growth of bacteria responsible for the creation of plaques. Polyphenolen from cocao significantly reduce biofilm formation and acid production by these bacteria. The acid production from sucrose was significantly inhibited resulting in a reduction of localized demineralization.
This antibacterial effect of polyphenolen from coca is shared with coffee and green tea.
But hold on, these are mostly animal data, the effect of green tea is based on a larger body of evidence than coffee and cocoa. There is still a long way to go, to quote the authors of this review
The effectiveness of polyphenols from these beverages as anti-cariogenic agents needs to be confirmed by larger in vivo studies carried out on different age-groups, and in different geographical areas. Further research on anti-cariogenic activity of cocoa, coffee, and tea could open a promising avenue of applications, since they are relatively safe, have taste and odor largely appreciated and could be used at a reasonable cost in the preparation of specific anti-cariogenic remedies.
Hoping for chocolate tooth paste, and you?
Related posts on this blog on the benefits and dosage of chocolate: chocolate.
Ferrazzano, G., Amato, I., Ingenito, A., De Natale, A., & Pollio, A. (2009). Anti-cariogenic effects of polyphenols from plant stimulant beverages (cocoa, coffee, tea) Fitoterapia, 80 (5), 255-262 DOI: 10.1016/j.fitote.2009.04.006