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Food scientists have known for a while now that there are certain molecules in chocolate that give it antibacterial properties. These special molecules, called polyphenols, are also naturally occurring in tealeaves and red wine. These polyphenols, which protect plant cells from bacteria and other damage, can also be helpful in protecting our cells from bacteria. So, by consuming these products in moderation, you can be actively protecting your tooth surfaces from bacteria buildup. To reiterate: when consumed in moderation. No amounts of polyphenols justify a wine/chocolate binge in the name of your teeth!
However, scientists have recently been able to derive polyphenols from plants cheaply. The implications of this coating are very powerful in the dental field. They could be used to pre-treat implants, crowns and bridges to eliminate surface bacteria and prevent further build-up. The polyphenol molecules could also be used as an ingredient in your daily mouth rinses to prevent the formation of biofilms. Then, they could potentially surpass the field of dentistry, by being incorporated into other surgical implants, like prosthetic knees or hips.
Advances like these serve to show how much science can teach us about the everyday items around us, and what can be derived from them. Surely as the scientific community advances, we will find many more unexpected uses for the foods we see on a daily basis!
Researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Faculty of Medicine have found a virus, of all things, that may help solve some problems of root canals. Their research suggests that we can turn the tables on post-procedural bacterial infections by utilizing a type of virus called a bacteriophage. Bacteriophage viruses attack bacteria specifically, which offers […]
As we get older, we need to pay more and more attention to our oral hygiene. If we keep it healthy, we will be at a less risk for common issues such as cavities, but more importantly, we will limit our risk for gum disease and oral cancer. A recent study from Case Western states […]
Although the connection seems unlikely, there is new evidence that suggests that if you have red hair, you are more resistant to local anesthetics like Novocaine. This fact leads to redheads being about 20% more likely to have anxiety about dental procedure, and are much more likely to skip a trip to their dentist! All […]
During a dental appointment, it’s not uncommon for your dentist to want to take a closer look at what’s going on inside your mouth using an X-ray. They’re useful tools for dental professionals, but for the rest of us, they can sometimes be a little intimidating. Here’s a quick guide on some of the most […]
Root canals are one of the most common dental procedures in the United States. Annually, approximately 15 million are conducted. If you do the math, that’s around 41,000 a day! Despite their status as a mainstay in dentistry, as well as the best way to save a tooth, root canals can occasionally have adverse effects […]
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