Dr. Jim Nager wrote an article recently in the Belmont Citizen-Herald touting the dental benefits of cranberries.

Most of us women, unfortunately, know about cranberry juice’s benefits to lessen a UTI. This works because the cranberry juice inhibits biofilm buildup in the urinary tract.

In your mouth, this same effect helps prevent colonization of Strep mutans, the bacteria responsible for tooth decay.

Cranberry also inhibits Porphyromonas gingivalis, a transmittable, tissue invasive pathogen associated with aggressive forms of periodontitis.

There is a cranberry floss on the market, made by Radius. It might help, if you use it! Image

I wonder if the juice benefits would still occur if you mix it with a little Tito’s vodka?

So eat/drink more cranberries, floss, and see your Periodontist regularly!





The full article is below:
A Cranberry a Day Keeps the Dentist Away?
The cranberry – as native to Massachusetts as the chickadee, our state bird. Known to scientists as vaccinium
macrocarpan, the cranberry is native to North America. The cranberry has a long history both as food and as
This year our nation produced 7.68 million barrels of cranberries. The bay state is the largest producer, beating
out second place New Jersey by 400 percent.
Ocean Spray was founded as a group of growers by Marcus L. Urann, lawyer and a grower himself, in
1930.Ocean Spray Company of Massachusetts has upwards of 2 billion dollars in annual sales.
May I stress here that it is unsweetened cranberry juice that may have many and diverse medical properties.
The biocomposition of the cranberry is quite complex. We find that the juice is alkaline, and filled with
proanthocyanimides (PACS), antioxidants, anti-inflammatory molecules, and oxalic acid. The health benefits
derive from therein.
Articles on the dental health benefits of cranberries have been examined in the Journal of the American Dental
Association in 1998, 2002, and 2008. There is evidence that cranberries are preventative against dental decay
and for gum disease. The tart fruit is also useful for treating oral Thrush, an overgrowth of candida albicans,
which makes your tongue look like a blob of yogurt.
The PACS in cranberry juice prevent the adhesion of s.mutans, the principle culprit in dental decay. The sticky
biofilm s. mutans likes to live in does not form well when affected by cranberry juice. Cranberry juice also inhibits
the acid production of the same organism, which is the way s. mutans burns holes in your teeth.
Biofilm is the sticky substance that organisms use to live in your mouth. It is the stuff you like not to think about in
a kiss.
Cranberries also inhibit the biofilm formation of p. gingivalis, denying a home to the gum disease producing
bacterium. In addition, cranberries decrease the inflammatory response of the gums to p. gingivalis, short
circuiting the development of periodontal disease.
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In the same way, cranberries inhibit the formation of biofilm in the urinary tract, helping to prevent e. coli from
setting up an infection. Research at the University of Maryland would indicate that cranberry juice is better for
preventing UTI’s than treating them.
Whether cranberries help prevent or whether they contribute to kidney stones is controversial. Some authorities
say the oxalic acid helps produce kidney stones, while other researchers find a decrease in stone formation.
The anti-inflammatory properties of the cranberry are cardioprotective. Cranberries seem to increase the High
Density Lipoproteins (the good ones), which decreases the Low Density Lipoproteins (the bad ones). As far as
lipoproteins are concerned, you want to keep your Highs High and your Lows Low.
By decreasing inflammation in your blood vessels, cranberries also help guard you from heart disease.
There is a dental floss that is infused with cranberry extract. I cannot say it is more helpful than other dental floss,
but I can say this: if you hold it between your fingers, stretch it between your teeth, gently shoe shine up and
down on both teeth-you will be much much better off.
I hate to get so bogged down in studying the healthful attributes of the cranberry, that I forget my favorite way to
enjoy them – right next to the Thanksgiving Turkey!
Dr. Jim’s Easy Holiday Cranberry Sauce Put 3 cups whole fresh cranberries in a sauce pot, along with 2 cups
orange juice, two cinnamon sticks, 2 cups white sugar, and ¼ tsp. ground cloves. Bring it all to a gentle boil and
then simmer for 15 more minutes. Dice 2 cored Gala apples and stir into the sauce for another ten minutes.
Please brush after meals. Have a meaningful Thanksgiving celebration, filled with family and friends.
Dr. Jim Nager is a practicing dentist and resident of Belmont, and a Clinical Instructor at Harvard. Questions of a
general nature that may be addressed in this space can be sent to drjamesnager@gmail.com
Copyright 2012 Belmont Citizen-Herald
Distributed by Newsbank, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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