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Cranberries show protection against periodontal disease
Updated: 3/20/2008 4:00:13 PM

Drinking cranberry juice could possibly help cut down on what affects nearly 67 million Americans: gingivitis.

Research published in the latest edition of the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy revealed that cranberries could be the next superpower when it comes to promoting good oral health.

Natural compounds found in the berry were shown to fight periodontitis, which is a severe case of gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums, by acting as a powerful anti-inflammatory substance.

The proanthocyanidins (PACs), or nutrients with high antioxidant values found most often in red and purple foods, have a certain anti-adhesion property for the bacteria that binds to gums and reduce growth and subsequent plaque development.

Previous research on the oral benefits of cranberry juice has also shown that compounds found in the fruit could prevent oral bacteria from directly destroying gum tissue itself, another factor in periodontitis.

Slight puffiness or a slight white band above the gumlines are symptoms of gingivitis and should visit a dentist for a check-up, cleaning and to learn about how to prevent gingivitis and periondontitis.

Julie Labreque from the University of Laval and lead researcher of the study said: "We know that brushing, flossing and regular dental cleanings reduce the risk of developing periodontitis by helping to prevent the onset of gingivitis, or gum infection."

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