Chocolate: It’s Role in Oral Health

Chocolate season has arrived! This treat helps us celebrate from Halloween through Christmas.  Nonetheless, concerns about overindulging include weight gain, lower bone density,a rise in serum triglyceride levels, migraine headaches, and increased esophageal acid. On the other hand, research shows that eating chocolate may improve vascular health, blood pressure, cognitive health, blood flow, and skin health.

Chocolate may also be beneficial to the teeth!

For example, a study out of the College of Dental Sciences in Davangere, India aimed to evaluate the effect of cocoa bean husk extract on plaque accumulation and mutans streptococcus count when used as a mouth rinse by children.  Results indicated a 20.9% decrease in mutans streptococci and a 49.6% decrease in plaque scores and concluded that cocoa bean husk extract is highly effective in reducing mutans streptococci and plaque when used as a mouth rinse by children.

Journal of Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry (2008):26, 2 : 67-70RK Srikanth, ND Shashikiran, VV Subba Reddy. Chocolate mouth rinse: Effect on plaque accumulation and mutans streptococci counts when used by children.

Similarly, a study out of the University of Osaka Graduate School of Dentistry in Osaka, Japan found that after four days of rinsing with a cocoa flavanol extract without other oral hygiene methods, participants had decreased bacteria and plaque on their teeth.

Matsumoto M, Tsuji M, Okuda J, Sasaki H, Nakano K, Osawa K, Shimura S, Ooshima T. European journal of oral sciences. 2004 Jun;112(3):249-52. Inhibitory effects of cacao bean husk extract on plaque formation in vitro and in vivo.

We at the library beleive in the power of chocolate, in moderation, and will do our best to keep our candy dish full – – so please stop in during the holiday season and have some chocolate for your health!

For a listing of more articles on this topic, indexed in PubMed, click here.


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