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An Amino Acid to Prevent Dental Disease

Posted on October 11, 2015 at 3:10 PM

A recent study (published in PLOS ONE), has found that the amino acid L-arginine destroys the bacteria which cause cavities and gum disease.


L-arginine is a common amino acid found naturally in red meat, poultry, fish, soy and certain dairy products. It helps rid people’s teeth of destructive biofilms that cause poor oral health.


Foods with L-Arginine

Creative Commons: Jason Rogers


Dental biofilms cause the formation of dental cavities, gingivitis and periodontal disease. According to the NIH, 92% of adults (age 20 to 64) of the American population have dental cavities; and according to the ADA, nearly 50% have moderate or severe periodontal disease.


L-arginine is currently being included in certain toothpaste formulations as it is thought to protect against dentine hypersensitivity. The study shows that the same concentrations of L-arginine potentially can control dental plaque formation, and may be beneficial in protecting against gum disease.


Presently, most methods for dental plaque control involve the use of antimicrobial agents, such as pyrophosphate or triclosan (See Toothpaste: Poison or Panacea blog), which are toxic chemicals aimed at killing plaque bacteria. These antimicrobial chemicals have been the subject of debate about overuse in recent years.


Researchers say the mechanism for how L-arginine causes the disintegration of the biofilms needs further study. These initial findings show that arginine can change how cells stick together, and can trigger bacteria within biofilms to alter how they behave so that they no longer stick to surfaces.


Further clinical trials and studies are planned, but the authors say these early results are promising and indicate that L-arginine could take the place of current plaque-controlling substances.


Moving forward with this, it is worth looking into taking L-arginine as a nutritional supplement, and perhaps adding a bit to you homemade toothpaste.


If you like this post, you may also like:   Reversing and Preventing Cavities   or    Toothpaste: Poison or Panacea

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Categories: Enlightened Dentistry, Food, Periodontal Disease

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3 Comments

Reply Khudia
8:57 PM on October 11, 2015 
Thank you for sharing this article Dr. Brand. This amino acid should definitely be incorporated more into our diet to maintain dental health.
Reply mitch
4:44 PM on October 27, 2015 
Wow this is great! I will definitely start adding this to my homemade toothpaste -Thank you
Reply Fran
4:23 PM on October 29, 2015 
This is impressive information. A very helpful post.