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As many as 12% of the population suffer from sensitive teeth sometime in their lifetime. The current solutions in sensitive toothpastes and products are based on the traditional treatment with fluoride but we are warned not to swallow fluoride toothpastes. What if a chocolate toothpastes could do the job safer and more effectively?
A 2013 study by the American Dental Association (ADA) revealed that theobromine, a naturally occurring ingredient in chocolate, was more effective in restoring and repairing enamel. If this is true, a chocolate toothpaste may soon be the best option to help with sensitive teeth.
Past research has also shown that the chocolate ingredient theobromine works better than fluoride. When lesions in artificial enamel were treated with theobromine, remineralization occurred at a greater rate than when they were treated with fluoride.2 The study found, in fact, that theobromine made teeth less vulnerable to bacterial acid erosion that could lead to cavities.
Could the solution for those suffering from sensitive teeth come in something so unexpected as chocolate? Research at the University of Texas Health Science Center compared 80 patients who brushed with Theodent toothpaste (containing theobrimine) and standard toothpastes which contained fluoride. Those using Theodent twice a day found greater relief from sensitive teeth and greater repair to exposed tooth surfaces.
Dr. Andrews response:“Although this is an interesting article, chocolate itself used as toothpaste, would be a disaster because of the sugar content. Sugar serves as a nutrient for bacterial plaque on the teeth. The waste product of the plaque plus sugar is an acid that causes tooth decay.
“However, we don’t have to look at this as fluoride vs. chocolate. If the promising ingredient in chocolate can be extracted and combined with fluoride, that might yield the best approach. Long-term clinical studies would be needed.
“In all honesty, I floss 2 times daily and have brushed my teeth with a fluoride toothpaste after each meal and before bedtime. I have not had a cavity in 32 years following this regime.”
Dr. Mark Andrews keeps up with the latest technology and products in the dental industry and when this treatment is fully vetted will consider it for patients whom it can help. In the meantime, see Dr. Andrews if you need help with sensitive teeth or other dental needs.
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