Researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles and Ocean Spray showed that flavonoids quercetin and myricetin in cranberries prevent S. mutans bacteria, which is the bacteria that causes cavities in teeth by taking the sugars in food particles, attaching itself to the tooth, and then attacking the enamel until the tooth erodes.
So how might this effect the dental industry? Forget mint flavoring for patient's cleanings, dentists might be offering a cranberry flavored paste, including its natural antioxidants to provide an extra defense against tooth decay. Blueberries also have a high amount of antioxidants, but don?t have the same amount of polyphenols to fight off S. mutans.
Cranberries also have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits, which could result in better gums and overall oral health.
?Dr. Hyun Koo, a researcher for the Center for Oral Biology and an associate professor in the Eastman Institute for Oral Health, has identified molecules known as A-type proanthocyanidins,? the article states. ?These substances contain the potential to reduce caries dramatically. After multiple tests, Dr. Koo discovered that when the molecules were applied, glucan and acid production by S. mutans was slashed by up to 70% while cavity formation was reduced by up to 45%. Koo is even looking to incorporate them into mouth rinses or toothpastes to help get rid of anaerobic bacteria and dental caries.?