Blueberries not only make a healthy and tasty snack, they might actually help treat gum disease.
An article published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry explained that wild blueberry extracts can help to reduce gum inflammation due to the fruit’s antibacterial properties and polyphenols.
Gum disease occurs when bacteria create biofilm or plaque on teeth, leading to gum inflammation.
Researchers from the Oral Ecology Research Group, Faculty of Dentistry, and Institute of Nutritional and Functional Foods took samples from wild lowbush blueberries. They found that the extract was able to form biofilms and prevent dental plaque from forming when tested against a bacterium called F. nucleatum, which leads to periodontal disease.
The researchers also observed that the blueberry extract blocked a molecular pathway that causes inflammation, which is linked to gum disease.
The article authors noted that using blueberry extract could potentially reduce the need for antibiotics when patients undergo gum disease treatments.