A Garlic Clove per Day Keeps Bacteria at Bay: How Eating Garlic Reduces Oral Bacteria

Garlic is good for your teeth. If garlic is something that you don't usually eat, you are missing out on its anti-bacterial properties. Garlic can reduce the number of harmful bacteria in your mouth. Such harmful bacteria can cause tooth decay, plaque and gum disease, but eating more garlic will help boost your defence against those oral issues.

Garlic Reduces the Number of Oral Bacteria

Garlic contains a powerful compound, allicin, which is antibacterial, as well as antiviral and antifungal. This means that if you include it in your meals throughout the day, sticking to the recommended 1-2 cloves per day, your mouth will contain fewer bacterial organisms. Yes, your breath might suffer as a result, but the benefits you reap overall more than make up for this potential downside.

This is due to the fact that the more bacteria that live in your mouth, the higher your chances of suffering from a range of issues, such as:

  • Tooth decay
  • Dental plaque
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth stains
  • Tartar

Research backs up the benefits of garlic. A 2011 study discovered that exposure to allicin reduced harmful oral bacteria and prevented it from thriving in oral biofilms. Since each harmful bacterial organism secretes acid that damages your teeth after ingesting sugar, reducing their numbers should be at the top of your list of oral health priorities.

Eat Your Garlic Raw for the Most Benefit

If popping a clove of garlic into your mouth doesn't appeal to you, you might be tempted to cook your garlic before you use it to aid your oral health. Unfortunately, cooking garlic destroys much of the allicin. Without allicin, garlic loses its antibacterial property. As such, despite what it might do to your breath and sensitive oral tissues, try to eat your garlic raw.

You don't have to just chew a raw clove of garlic. You can eat raw garlic in various ways.

Create Dishes That Use Raw Garlic

Eating raw garlic is a challenge if you aren't already used to it. Luckily, you can add raw garlic to dishes by putting it in sauces after they are cooked, adding it to mashed potatoes, or drinking it with tea, for instance. There is no limit to how you can use raw garlic.

Garlic should be a more integral part of your oral health habits. To reap the full benefits, brush your teeth often, stay away from sugar and eat 1-2 cloves of garlic per day to keep smelly bacterial organisms at bay. Consult with a dentist to learn more.

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