October 2nd, 2013
Licorice is often thought of as a nice, sweet treat, usually found as a main ingredient in candies, but who would of thought that it would keep teeth and gums healthy?
The Journal of Natural Products published a study done by Dr. Stefan Gafner, a researcher for a division of Colgate-Palmolive found two compounds present in dried licorice that were beneficial as antibacterial substances, preventing the growth of major bacteria that have been linked to cavities and periodontal disease. The study demonstrated that licroicidin and licorisoflavan A, which are two main components to licorice, prevented bacteria from introducing tooth decay.
Nowadays licorice root has been implemented into many oral health care products, including being used as a breath freshening ingredient in some natural toothpastes. Researchers have also delved in to the possibility of adding licorice root in various food products to cut down on tooth decay. A researcher, Dr. Wenyuan Shi, from University of California, Los Angeles have been working with Alaska Native and American Indian children, a group of individuals that are at high risk of early childhood caries. His research showed positive results, demonstrating that when licorice plant extract was added to lollipops, there was a reduction in the amount of caries found in children.
Aside from its contribution to oral health, the health benefits of licorice roots have been known for quite some time. It is a main component in Chinese traditional medicine and is often used in conjunction with other herbs to enhance their effectiveness. Outside of the US, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) showed that licorice roots have also been used to counteract the adverse effects of Hepatitis C. Dried licorice root is also often used to relieve sore throats, digestive and respiratory problems.
If you have any more questions, feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or firstname.lastname@example.org