Last updated: Feb 11, 2020 | 662 Views | Oral and dental care
Tooth Friendly Chocolate
Dark Chocolate contains cocoa powder which is derived from cocoa bean. This cocoa bean is said to contain substances which are anticariogenic. Fluorides, as a preventive measure for dental caries is in use for more than many decades, but it has certain drawbacks such as toxicity, fluorosis etc. Apart from this there is controversy towards usage of fluorides by the antifluoride lobbies. Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland are some of the countries, where anti fluoride lobby is in its strong hands. Caries vaccine on the other hand is in its preliminary stages of development( Early tooth decay/ White spot caries ). Even if it reaches the common market, the feasibility and affordability by common man, especially from developing countries is questionable. In this era of modern medicine, antibiotics are used for anything and everything. This has not only reduced the problems, but has given rise to issues like antimicrobial resistance and allergic reactions to drugs. A safe alternative would be going back to the nature.
Theobromine is one of the major constituent in the cocoa bean. Theobromine (theobromide), which was previously known as xantheose, is a bitter alkaloid of the cocoa plant. It is found in chocolate, as well as in a number of other foods, including the leaves of the tea plant, and the kola (or cola) nut. It is in the methylxanthine class of chemical compounds which also includes the similar compounds theophylline and caffeine. Cocoa beans naturally contain approximately 1–4% theobromine. Cocoa powder can vary in the amount of theobromine, from 1.2%-2.4%. There are usually higher concentrations of theobromine in dark than in milk chocolate. And The compound CBH, a white crystalline powder whose chemical makeup is similar to caffeine, helps harden tooth enamel, making users less susceptible to tooth decay.
The study by Sadeghpour has found that theobromine is better than fluoride. It is thought that the amount of theobromine in a one ounce dark chocolate bar has a better effect on tooth hardness than a 1.1% prescription sodium fluoride treatment. They showed that at a concentration 142 times less than that of fluoride, the theobromine active had twice the protective effect on teeth. As said before, fluoride has so many disadvantages, including its irritation of the gastro intestinal mucosa, conversely theobromine was found to be readily absorbedby the gut, metabolized and cleared cleanly by humans.
Similarly there was another study conducted by the scientists of Tulane University regarding theobromine, which showed theobromine’s effect on the crystalline structure of teeth has an additional benefit, when used in the same concentration of sodium fluoride that is generally used in the tooth paste, it was seen that theobromine was better in its action.
Beside, Oxidative stress affects the progression of periodontitis. Cocoa is a rich source of flavonoids with antioxidant properties, which could suppress gingival oxidative stress in periodontal lesions. Consuming a cocoa enriched diet suppressed gingival oxidative stress and periodontal inflammation.
Tooth Friendly Chocolate, Dr.Srisakthi .M.D.S. Senior lecturer, Dept. of Community Dentistry, Saveetha Dental College, Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, A.Sudharsana et al /J. Pharm. Sci. & Res. Vol. 7(1), 2015, 49-50