Study: Chocolate compound hardens enamel better than fluoride

Theobromine, an organic compound found in chocolate, remineralizes and hardens tooth enamel at a greater rate than fluoride, according to a new study in Caries Research (2013, Vol. 47:5, pp. 399-405).

The peer-reviewed study was performed by researchers in the department of comprehensive dentistry at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. They investigated the enamel strengthening potential of theobromine by examining its ability to repair or remineralize weaknesses in tooth enamel that can ultimately develop into cavities.

Theobromine is the active ingredient in Rennou, the patented chocolate extract contained in Theodent toothpaste.

The researchers measured the microhardness of the enamel surface of human teeth after treatments with fluoride and theobromine, and found that theobromine increased the size of the apatite crystals that form tooth enamel. Larger crystals strengthen enamel, making teeth less vulnerable to bacterial acid erosion, which can eventually lead to tooth sensitivity, caries, and decay.

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