Tag Archives: S. mutans

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

ThanksgivingThanksgiving is finally upon us! For all of us here, at Paul A. Griffin, DDS, PA, Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday. Who can resist all that deliciousness; the turkey, the mashed potatoes, and all those yummy pies? But, we all know that some of our favorite Thanksgiving yummies can really do a number on our waistlines and our teeth. However, there is good news: there are foods on the Thanksgiving table that are actually good for your pearly whites!


Luckily, the main Thanksgiving course is one the best foods for your teeth. This succulent bird is a great source of protein, and protein, contains phosphorus, which is great for your teeth when it’s combined with calcium and vitamin D. These minerals and vitamins keep your teeth nice and strong! So the next time you bite into a drumstick or turkey sandwich, remember that you’re doing it for your teeth.

Leafy Green Vegetables  

Leafy greens such as kale and spinach also promote oral health. They’re full of vitamins and minerals while being low in calories, and they are high in calcium, which builds your teeth’s enamel.


Cheese is rich in calcium, which keeps teeth strong, but cheese also has been found to protect your pearly whites from acid erosion by raising the pH in the mouth to above 5.5. A pH level lower than 5.5 puts a person at risk for tooth erosion. Eating cheese also stimulates saliva production, which protects teeth in itself.


Pass the cranberry sauce please! This Thanksgiving staple contains compounds that inhibit the bacteria, S. Mutans, ability to form dental plaque. Without this sticky protective biofilm, bacteria cannot produce as much acid, and the threat to your teeth’s integrity is significantly lessened.

Red Wine

Great news for wine lovers; this magic elixir also helps in the fight against S. Mutans and cavities. Red wine also contains antioxidants that can help fight bacterial infection, and it contains tannins, which help stimulate saliva production. Saliva is your natural protection against acid, tooth decay, and other oral health issues. So, go ahead and pour yourself another glass!

Pumpkin Pie

Don’t forget dessert! Yes, there actually is a dessert that can help your teeth. Bring on the pumpkin pie! While it’s true, there is a lot of sugar in pumpkin pie, there is also a lot of good stuff, like calcium, two different types of vitamin B, and a huge dose of vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant.

We hope this Thanksgiving brings you delicious treats and plenty of fond memories with your family. From all of us here, we wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!

As always, to schedule a cleaning, examination, or consultation, give us a call at 972-242-2155, or, you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page. At Paul A. Griffin, DDS, PA, we are here for you!!

A Cup O’ Joe a Day May Keep Cavities Away

Coffee & CavitiesCould a cup of coffee a day really keep plaque and cavities away?

According to research, that might just be the case. Studies suggest that black coffee may actually help prevent plaque and tooth decay.

A study, published in 2009, by the KLE Society’s Institute of Dental Sciences, in Bangalore, India, found that compounds in coffee could reduce plaque formation. Plaque is a complex biofilm, which contains the bacteria Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans), and is the main culprit in tooth decay and gum disease. Coffee brewed from roasted coffee beans was found to contain antibacterial activities against certain microorganisms, such as S. mutans. Scientists performed laboratory tests with 1,000 people of both genders, which showed coffee molecules actually prevent adhesion of S. mutans on tooth enamel.

Researchers also suggest that trigonelline, which is a bitter alkaloid in coffee, that contributes to the aroma and flavor of the beverage, has been found to reduce the incidence of dental caries due to its ability to prevent the S. mutans from adhering to teeth enamel.

Another study from 2010, by researchers at Rio de Janeiro’s Federal University, examined the effects of Coffea canephora extract – a type of coffee bean that makes up 30% of the world’s consumed coffee – on baby teeth that had 10 days of biofilm growth. The results of this study concluded that the coffee extract actively broke down the bacterial biofilms, which are responsible for causing plaque, which leads to harmful tooth decay.

It’s important to add, both studies show that coffee should be consumed black and when milk and sugar or sweeteners were added, it no longer had beneficial properties.

Even though these studies show promising results that coffee may boost your dental health, it doesn’t mean you should ditch the toothbrush and floss. There are still problems with drinking a lot of coffee, including staining and the effects of acidity on tooth enamel. To minimize staining and the effects of acidity from coffee, swish with water after drinking, brush and floss at least twice a day, and visit Dr. Griffin regularly.

If you are needing to make your next appointment, please call us at, 972-242-2155, or you can use the “Ask Dr. Griffin” form at the top of this page.