Attention chocolate lovers, life just got better. :) Researchers at Tulane University discovered that cocoa powder contains a powerful extract that’s an effective cavity fighter. The study findings were presented at the American Dental Association 2013 Annual Session which did a side-by-side comparison of fluoride toothpaste against a new cacao containing toothpaste with a naturally-occurring cacao extract theobromine.

Theobromine is a bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant. It’s found in chocolate, in tea plants (leaves), and in the kola (or cola) nut as well as in a number of other foods. Surprisingly the compound contains no bromine despite its name. The derivation of the word theobromine is from Theobroma, the name of the genus of the cacao tree, which itself is made up of the Greek roots theo and broma, meaning “food of the gods”.

The researchers discovered that when cocoa powder was applied to the enamel surface of teeth they actually remineralized or repaired. According to Dr. Mercola, the results showed that patients who brushed their teeth with the cacao-extract toothpaste twice a day for one week had 100 percent dental occlusion with their tooth dentin becoming re-mineralized or repaired. Researchers noted that theobromine made teeth less susceptible to acid erosion from bacteria, which could be a precursor to cavities.

The study concluded: “The comparison to toothpastes containing fluoride – one as much as 5,000 ppm [parts per million] – validates what our research has shown all along: that Rennou [the cocoa extract] … is more effective and safer than fluoride, which can be toxic if ingested.” Previous research had also found that theobromine is more effective than fluoride against cavities.

How to make your own chocolate toothpaste

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 6 drops clove essential oil
  • 2 teaspoons organic raw cacao or cocoa powder

Directions:

Combine all ingredients and mix until you have the consistency you want. Scoop the paste onto brush. Store the paste in a container with a lid as baking soda can absorb smells. You can also make it squeezable by putting it into an empty toothpaste tube.