Cranberries give mouth germs the slip

Los Angeles: Cranberry juice may help prevent tooth decay by creating a non-stick surface on teeth, researchers in the US have discovered.

The juice of the fruit has long been used for treating infections of the urinary tract, and researchers believe it may be the same compounds that prevent fillings.

Tooth decay usually begins with a build-up of dental plaque, a film of bacteria on the tooth surface. It is believed the active cranberry compound, thought to include antioxidants, prevents the bacteria getting a grip. Research at the universities of California and Rochester shows that cranberry is active against the damaging effects of the streptococcus mutans bacteria, which causes dental caries. Now scientists are looking at the idea of isolating cranberry’s key anti-decay compounds and adding these to toothpastes and mouthwashes.