Can Beer Making Ingredient Fight Dental Disease?

Interesting news out of Japan. Don’t get too excited, the new study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, didn’t find that drinking beer was good for your oral health. What the researchers from the University of Tokyo did find was that a par of the hops that is not used in brewing could stop oral bacteria from sticking to teeth.

About 2,300 tons of hops are harvested in the US each year but only part of the plant is used to make beer, the bracts or leaves, are discarded. It was these bracts that were investigated for their health effects. The bracts contained over 100 types of compounds including three completely new ones! Past studies at the University of Tokyo had found that extracts from the hop leaves had stopped the types of bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease from adhering to surfaces. The hop chemicals also prevented these bacteria from releasing certain toxins.

Until we have a hop-based toothpaste or mouth rinse, we are going to have to prevent dental disease the old-fashioned way. Brushing, flossing and regular dental hygiene visits!

This old school approach to preventing dental disease really works. The hard part for most people is flossing every day — for some reason a lot of people find it hard to maintain a flossing schedule. I have a suggestion!

If you hate to use regular floss or find it too difficult, try using floss picks or a floss threader. Both are available in the oral care aisle at the store and will put an end to the pain of floss wrapped too tightly around your fingers that just won’t reach those back teeth! Floss picks are really easy because they are a small handle that already has floss attached. You can even keep a bag in your car and floss at red lights.

Interproximal brushes, a.k.a. proxy brushes, work to clean between teeth as well. These are tiny little brushes that fit between teeth that will remove plaque. These brushes come in many sizes so you can find one that will fit the spaces between your teeth.

No matter what type of device you use to clean plaque from between your teeth – it needs to be done every day. No skipping days. If plaque isn’t removed it will harden into dental calculus which can only be removed during a professional dental cleaning.

Please contact Asheville preventative dentist Dr. John Highsmith today at 828-627-9282 to schedule your next appointment.

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Posted in: Oral Health, Periodontal Disease

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