There has long been an association with chocolate and the health of teeth. The consumption of cacao with the skins/husks included seems to decrease cavities. Research has shown that the tannins in the cacao bean and its associated skin/husk prevent tooth decay.
A neural network analysis of theobromine vs. fluoride on the enamel surface of human teeth: An experimental case study with strong implications for the production of a new line of revolutionary and natural non-fluoride based dentifrices.
Tulane University, 2007
Dental caries are, to this day, the most preventable disease still plaguing humankind. Since the mid 1900's, there has been little to no innovation in commercial fluoride dentifrices, in that, the active agent as a caries preventative is 0.24% sodium fluoride (0.15% fluoride ion), or 0.76% sodium monofluorophosphate. The purpose of the current work is to examine the effects of theobromine versus fluoride on the enamel surface of human teeth by use of an artificial neural network. Theobromine (3,7 dimethylxanthine) is a white crystalline powder and differs by only one methyl group to its sister molecule, caffeine (1,3,7 dimethlyxanthine). The dissertation focuses on a brief introduction to theobromine and the previous literature, the experimental materials, method, and design, and finally to the analysis of enamel surface microhardness data by the artificial neural network model. A subsequent in vivo acid dissolution also leads us to believe that theobromine might be a particularly effective agent in helping the enamel surface of human teeth resist the effects of bacterial acid demineralization. The implications of the current work are that theobromine, which occurs naturally in chocolates, teas, and cocoa products worldwide, is a natural, nontoxic, more efficacious, and viable alternative to fluoride additives in commercial dentifrices.
A neural network analysis of theobromine vs. fluoride on the enamel surface of human teeth
Cariostatic activity of cacao mass extract.
Ooshima T, Osaka Y, Sasaki H, Osawa K, Yasuda H, Matsumoto M.
Arch Oral Biol. 2000 Sep;45(9):805-8.
Departments of Pedodontics, Osaka University Faculty of Dentistry, 1-8 Yamadaoka, Suita, 565-0871, Osaka, Japan. firstname.lastname@example.org
Chocolate is suspected to contain some caries-inhibitory substances. The cariostatic activity of cacao mass extract (CM), the main component of chocolate, was examined in vitro and in experimental animals. CM showed no detectable effects on the cellular growth and acid production of mutans streptococci. On the other hand, the cell-surface hydrophobicity of mutans streptococci was significantly reduced by the presence of CM. Furthermore, insoluble glucan synthesis by the glucosyltransferases from either Streptococcus mutans MT8148R or Strep. sobrinus 6715 was inhibited by CM, but not significantly. Hence, the sucrose-dependent cell adherence of mutans streptococci was also depressed by CM. Finally, CM in both a 40% sucrose diet and drinking water resulted in reductions of caries development and plaque accumulation in rats infected with Strep. sobrinus 6715, but not significantly. These results indicate that cacao mass extract possesses some anticariogenic potential, but its anticaries activity is not strong enough to suppress significantly the cariogenic activity of sucrose.
Original Research: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10869494
Identification of Cariostatic Substances in the Cacao Bean Husk: Their Anti-glucosyltransferase and Antibacterial Activities
The cacao bean husk has been shown to possess two types of cariostatic substances, one showing anti-glucosyltransferase (GTF) activity and the other antibacterial activity, and to inhibit experimental dental caries in rats infected with mutans streptococci. In the present study, chromatographic purification revealed high-molecular-weight polyphenolic compounds and unsaturated fatty acids as active components. The former, which showed strong anti-GTF activity, were polymeric epicatechins with C-4β and C-8 intermolecular bonds estimated to be 4636 in molecular weight in an acetylated form. The latter, which showed bactericidal activity against Streptococcus mutans, were determined to be oleic and linoleic acids, and demonstrated a high level of activity at a concentration of 30 µg/mL. The cariostatic activity of the cacao bean husk is likely caused by these biologically active constituents.