Using Licorice Root to Prevent Tooth Decay
Your diet can have a profound effect on your teeth. Eating nutrient-rich fruits and veggies has long been known to be essential to tooth and gum health. However, according to the Journal of Natural Products, an ingredient that is a favorite candy flavoring may also be good for your teeth. Before stocking up on sugary treats, however, our Northridge dentist, wants to share the inside scoop.
According to the published study, the dried root of the licorice plant contains compounds that can prevent and treat gum disease and tooth decay. Tooth decay, which is currently the most common chronic illness, is also one of the most preventable ones. More than nine out of 10 American adults have suffered from tooth decay while more than half of teens are suffering from decay.
Licoricidin and licorisoflavan A are believed to be the active ingredients in licorice. They are believed to inhibit bacterial growth and reduce the inflammation associated with periodontitis, which can damage gums and the underlying structures of the teeth.
Although licorice appeared to be extremely effective in protecting tooth and gum health, it appeared to only be safe when used in the short term. When taken in large amounts or for more than four to six weeks, it can increase the risk of water retention, low potassium levels and high blood pressure. Those who already suffer from high blood pressure or heart disease should seek medical advice before using licorice.