Keywords : Cocoa
Dark Chocolates: Friend or Foe – A Review
European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine,
2020, Volume 7, Issue 7, Pages 1772-1778
Dental caries is a complex and dynamic process that involves both physicochemical & biological activities. One of the factors responsible for dental caries is cariogenic food. Chocolate being one of the junk food items, a very common misapprehension states it as main cause of dental caries, which is not true. Chocolates are one of the most beneficial and nutritious foods that nature can provide precisely dark chocolates. It is derived from the cocoa (also called as cacao). Dark chocolates (around 50%-60%) are semisweet in taste and extra dark chocolates (75%-90%) are bittersweet in taste. Plain chocolate, black chocolate or sour chocolate are some another names of dark chocolates. There are various types of chocolates which include dark chocolate. Although not every kind of chocolate is tooth friendly but the cocoa bean is the main good component, that make the chocolate healthier. Cocoa beans contain many minerals, antioxidants that not only good for the mouth and teeth but also the whole body system. Another phenolic compound found in cocoa husk beans is theobromine. These contents according to various studies conducted has shown anticariogenic properties. The most commonly associated microorganisms identified from carious lesions are Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus acidophilus. These substances have been shown to interfere with bacterial adhesion on the tooth surface and thus resulting in decreased microbial count. Polyphenol decreases the microorganisms that are present in the oral cavity, and prevent halitosis. It contains flavonoids that helps to supress the periodontal problems and also has a role to slow down the caries progression. This review is highlights the different types of chocolates, the contents of dark chocolates, the health benefits of dark chocolates with emphasis on anticariogenic properties.