Who doesn’t love a fresh-out-of-the-oven, ooey, gooey, homemade chocolate chip cookie? Even most dentists find them hard to resist. Tomorrow is National Chocolate Chip Day. Talk about a great reason to throw a batch of cookies into your oven. Of course, you do need to be somewhat wary of all of that sugar exposure to your teeth. While cavities can be spurned on by eating too many sweets, Park Ridge dentists , Dr. Maria and Dr. Thanasi Loukas will show you that there are some benefits to chocolate through this fun true-or-false quiz.
Q1. True or false – Sugar is the main reason for cavities.
Q2. True or false – Streptococcus mutans are the insidious bacteria which create plaque.
Q3. True or false – Chocolate contains compounds which inhibit cavities.
A1. FALSE – Many people think that sugar is the direct cause of tooth decay. While sucrose certainly plays a big role in the development of cavities, sugar is merely the sustenance for the true cause – bacteria. The specific strain of germs dead-set on decaying your teeth are called Streptococcus mutans. S. mutans convert sucrose into acid which can damage your tooth enamel and allow cavities to occur.
A2. TRUE – Once tooth enamel is weakened by acid or damaged by poor oral hygiene, S. mutans can create cavities and contribute to gum disease. When food debris, bacteria, and acid mix, plaque develops. When plaque hardens, it becomes tartar. Once you have cement-like tartar buildup on your teeth and at your gumline, you will need the germy substance cleaned off at your six month dental cleanings to avoid periodontal infections and cavities.
A3. TRUE – According to the American Dental Hygienist’s Association (ADHA) theobromine can strengthen tooth enamel. The best place to find this compound is dark chocolate. Furthermore, chocolate has potential oral-systemic health benefits for your heart. Heart disease has been linked to gum disease in many research studies, so keeping your smile and heart in good working condition can provide a symbiosis of healthiness.
About Our Doctors
Dr. Maria Loukas and Dr. Thanasi Loukas are compassionate general, restorative, and implant dentists serving Park Ridge and surrounding Chicago communities. To schedule an appointment, call Loukas General Dentistry today at (847) 696-1919.