Could a Cranberry a Day Keep The Dentist Away?

Armen Hareyan's picture

Britain's leading oral health charity says that cranberries could help prevent a host of oral health problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease.

The British Dental Health Foundation, providers of free impartial dental advice to the public, was talking after experts at the University of Rochester found that cranberry juice stops harmful bacteria from sticking to the teeth.

According to researchers, by stopping bacteria from attaching to the teeth, cranberry juice ensures that plaque is never given the chance to form, which could prevent tooth decay and gum disease.


However, the Foundation warned that the findings, presented at the Cranberry Institute's Cranberry Health Research Symposium in late October, should be treated with a degree of caution and that due to its acidity, cranberry juice should be limited to mealtimes.

Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the Foundation, commented: "With the number of cranberry containing toothpastes and flosses on the market increasing, it seems that oral health companies are taking advantage of the benefits of cranberries."

However, it is important to also be aware of the negatives.

"Cranberry juice is naturally very acidic. Every time you drink something acidic the enamel on your teeth is softened temporarily. If given time to recover, then your saliva will neutralise this acidity in your mouth and restore it to its natural balance. However, if this attack happens too often the mouth does not have the chance to repair itself and tiny particles of enamel can be brushed away. This is called erosion."

"Erosion can cause pain and sensitivity in the teeth, and once the enamel has worn away can also leave your teeth open to decay too