The dark chocolate contains molecules that have several beneficial properties. Some of these are good for your teeth and help fight tooth decay and other dental diseases.
The bitter cocoa of which dark chocolate is composed contains tannins, polyphenols and flavonoids; each of which represents a strong antioxidant for the benefit of the mouth and teeth. The higher the percentage of cocoa, as in dark chocolate, the greater the benefits. To achieve its benefits, dark chocolate should contain at least about 70% cocoa.
Here are the components of cocoa present in dark chocolate and their benefits :
The tannins give the dark chocolate a slightly bitter taste and are responsible for the typical dark color. They counteract the demineralization of the enamel. And inhibit the bacteria that stick to the teeth helping to prevent tooth decay
Polyphenols help neutralize the microorganisms that cause halitosis, prevent gum infections, gingivitis and fight plaque, and tooth decay
Flavonoids help to counteract the onset of tooth decay.
Theobromine is an alkaloid similar to caffeine, has been studied for its antimicrobial activity and has shown, during some researches, significant ability to inhibit bacteria in culture media compared to fluoride toothpaste.
As far as tannins are concerned, it is necessary not to forget that consuming large quantities of foods containing them can cause stains on the surface of the teeth. This problem can be solved with proper oral hygiene, taking care to accurately wash the teeth half an hour after eating foods rich in these substances.
Dark chocolate: teeth and prevention
Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in the mouth transform sugar into acids. Which affects the outer wall of the teeth allowing their erosion.
The compounds present in the peel of the cocoa bean have an antibacterial effect and also combat plaque. This makes dark chocolate less harmful than many other sweet foods the dentist might warn you about; the antibacterial agents contained in cocoa beans, in fact, compensate for any sugar present, making consumers of dark chocolate less sensitive to tooth decay. Since tannins, flavonoids, polyphenols, and theobromine are contained in cocoa, it would be better to chew cocoa beans but. Since they have a bitter and slightly acidic taste that does not make them attractive to everyone, they opt for its more palatable forms such as dark chocolate.
Raw chocolate is another good choice, as it is less processed and richer in antioxidants. The second best choice from the point of view of dental health is dark chocolate containing less than 6-8 grams of sugar per serving. It is also useful to be aware and to take into account the fact that chocolate is a food rich in calories. So as to modify the calorie intake accordingly.
In addition to the benefits to the teeth, the molecules listed above also have other properties. Affecting mood through increased serotonin production. The dark chocolate is an excellent alternative to elaborate. And complex desserts, compared to which it is healthier and richer in benefits.