Did you know that cranberry juice has anti-bacterial properties? It has now been found out from latest research that it might contain certain compounds that can help preserve dental health by prevention of dental cavities.
Dental researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center have been credited with the above discovery. It is believed that cranberry juice acts just similar to a Teflon sheath, commonly used in non-stick cookware. This would in turn provide a hostile environment for the attachment and growth of bacteria that causes dental cavities.
The microorganism Streptococcus mutans, adheres to the tooth surfaces followed by which it causes cavities by excreting acids that are responsible for dental decay. The different forms of sugar consumed by a person provide support and nourishment to the bacteria.
It is already known that cranberry juice provides some protection against infections of the urinary bladder by preventing bacterial adhesion to the wall of the bladder. The same effect may be precipitated in case of the above finding as well.
In addition, the juice has also been found to have plaque disruptive properties, by inhibiting the formation of glucan, an essential building block in plaque formation. The bacteria utilize certain enzymes called glucosyltransferases for construction of dental plaque. Once it is built, it becomes easier for the bacteria to multiply by consuming sugar and in turn churn out acid secretions. Cranberry juice also prevents the enzymes from being utilized and poses a threat to bacterial colonisation.
If you probably think that rushing to the nearest departmental store to get cranberry juice would help prevent tooth decay, it wont. The sweeteners added to the juice will only aggravate cavity formation. At the moment, it is only known that something in cranberry juice can help dental decay. Researchers have not yet identified the exact chemical that confers protection against dental decay.
The researchers next target is to isolate the protectant from cranberry juice and integrate it into commercially available toothpastes or mouth rinses. If the venture turns out to be successful, millions of people worldwide would have a substantial improvement in their oral health status.