Can Seaweed Help Fight Tooth Decay?

Are your taste buds a fan of seaweed? It turns out that your teeth may love it too! According to studies conducted at Newcastle University's School of Dental Sciences, researchers have found a correlation between seaweed and tooth decay prevention.

Tooth decay is a common oral health problem that typically arises from a buildup of dental plaque on the surface of teeth. Dental plaque is a slimy layer of biofilm that contains many types of bacteria, which release acids that damage tooth enamel. The Newcastle University researchers discovered that an enzyme extracted from Bacillus licheniformis, a bacterium found on the surface of seaweed in marine ecosystems, attacks and removes plaque. The researchers initially began researching the bacterium to see if it could remove bacteria from ship hulls. Soon, they discovered that the enzyme from this bacterium could be a potential weapon in the fight against tooth decay!

The researchers believe that this discovery could lead to more effective oral hygiene products. Although toothpastes are effective, there are still spaces between teeth where the bacteria in plaque can hide, leading to cavities. Further research is being done to see if the enzyme found in seaweed could be used in toothpaste to help reduce such oral health problems. Researchers believe that seaweed-derived toothpaste may protect teeth in the spaces that are hard to reach with toothbrushes. More tests are being planned to verify if this product would be both effective and safe. Scientists have discovered that eating seaweed may even be effective in whitening teeth.

Not only is seaweed good for your oral health, but it also contains a wealth of nutrients that will improve your overall health. Seaweed is rich in iodine, calcium, iron, magnesium and vitamin C. It helps with digestive health and has cholesteral-lowering effects. Seaweed even contains anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, eating seaweed can improve liver function, and stabilize blood sugar. Try adding seaweed to your diet! Seaweed leaves as well as seaweed sheets that are commonly used in sushi rolls are sold at many grocery stores, and can taste nicely in a sandwich, salad, or soup.

Ultimately, seaweed could have a variety of medical and dental applications. Yet, it is important not to forget that regularly brushing, rinsing, and flossing are also essential in the fight against tooth decay!

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or to set up an appointment and consultation.


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