Oral Health Benefits Of Pears

  • Irenosen AddehMaster of Science (MSc), Public Health, University of Debrecen, Hungary

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Introduction

Maintaining good oral health is crucial for overall well-being, often considered a gateway to the body. Just as proper nutrition is essential for our health, it is equally important for our oral health. This article aims to highlight the various oral health benefits of consuming pears.

What are pears? A pear is a fruit that closely resembles apples; both are good examples of pomes. It is rich in fruit sugar and primarily consists of water, like most fruits. Pears belong to the Pyrus species widely cultivated in Europe, Asia, and America, offering a host of benefits for our general health in general.1 Read on to find out how these benefits are related to oral health.

Nutritional composition of pears

Pears are more than just a source of fruit sugar. They are packed with nutrients and bioactive compounds that promote good health. With 6 grams of dietary fibre derived from a medium-sized pear, it provides about 20% of the daily fibre replacement for an adult. They are also rich in potassium, vitamin C, and other vital minerals.1

Pears contain beneficial bioactive compounds such as phenolic acids, flavonols, anthocyanins, and carotenoids, which are excellent antioxidants.2 Research shows that eating pears may have many health benefits. They are believed to help prevent diabetes mellitus, cancers and cardiovascular disease.1,2,3,4 Pears are also thought to promote gut health.1 just like the famous saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away," the same seems true for its sister fruit, pears.

Oral health benefits of pear

Narrowing these benefits down to oral health. A couple of benefits exist.

A detergent food

Pears are very high in fibre and are considered a detergent food because their firm and fibrous consistency acts as a gentle scrub on the teeth. Additionally, chewing on pears promotes saliva production, which can help lower the mouth's pH and neutralise harmful acids. This saliva can also aid in the remineralisation of teeth, which can prevent tooth decay from advancing.

Apart from maintaining good dental hygiene, this is one of the most effective natural ways to protect yourself against tooth decay and gum problems. Have you ever wondered how oral health was maintained before the introduction of toothbrushing? Well, your thought is as good as mine; our fruit-gathering ancestors consumed lots of detergent foods. It's just another reason to add more pears to your diet. 

Antioxidants in pears 

Pears have a lot of protective phytochemicals that primarily act as antioxidants. These antioxidants are essential in protecting the cell from damage from oxidative stress, hence preventing conditions like cancer, including oral cancers, which is the 8th most common cancer in the UK.

A pear-shaped burst of vitamin C

Many fruits including lime, lemons, and pineapple, have a good amount of vitamin C. However, most are acidic and tend to contribute to tooth wear if taken frequently. Pears are also very rich in Vitamin C but have a lower potential to damage the dentition by erosive acids.

Vit C is essential in maintaining a healthy body in which the mouth mirrors its vitality. It also encourages explicitly wound healing, which is crucial for gum health. A deficiency leads to scurvy, which causes bleeding gums and loosened teeth.6 Vitamin C has also been found to inhibit cancer development hence protecting against oral cancers.

Low-calorie and nutrient-rich 

If you're looking for a fruit that is low in calories but packed with essential nutrients, look no further than pears. Not only are pears low in calories, but they are also rich in micronutrients like potassium, vitamin C, vitamin K, and copper, which are crucial for maintaining good gum health and overall well-being. So, incorporating pears into your diet can be a healthy and delicious way to get the nutrients your body needs

Consumption tips

Enjoying fresh pears is recommended to preserve their detergent effect. Processing, such as in juices, may diminish their benefits. Embracing the natural juiciness of pears enhances their oral health advantages.

Pears can also be enjoyed in its blended form as smoothies. An interesting angle to pear consumption is dicing it to make fruit salads in combination with other colourful fruits.

It might surprise you to know that there are many nuances to eating pear that people have explored over the years, including simmering it in red wine, sugar crusting and baking it etc.

However, it must be noted that it is best to enjoy it fresh when maximum benefit can be derived.

Summary

Pears have many oral health benefits. Incorporating them into your diet, you stand a chance of elevating your oral health from its plethora of benefits including its being a detergent food and a nutrient-laden fruit with antioxidants and vitamins, potentially prevent oral issues and diseases. Fresh consumption is recommended as it preserves its benefits.

References 

  1. Reiland H, Slavin J. Systematic review of pears and health. Nutr Today [Internet]. 2015 Nov [cited 2023 Dec 9];50(6):301–5. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4657810/
  2. Espley R, Martens S. Health properties of apple and pear. In: Skinner M, Hunter D, editors. Bioactives in Fruit [Internet]. 1st ed. Wiley; 2013 [cited 2023 Dec 9]. p. 81–100. Available from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9781118635551.ch5
  3. Kolniak-Ostek J, Kłopotowska D, Rutkowski KP, Skorupińska A, Kruczyńska DE. Bioactive compounds and health-promoting properties of pear (Pyrus communis L.) fruits. Molecules [Internet]. 2020 Jan [cited 2023 Dec 9];25(19):4444. Available from: https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/25/19/4444
  4. Guo X fei, Yang B, Tang J, Jiang JJ, Li D. Apple and pear consumption and type 2 diabetes mellitus risk: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Food Funct [Internet]. 2017 Mar 22 [cited 2023 Dec 9];8(3):927–34. Available from: https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2017/fo/c6fo01378c
  5. Cancer Research UK [Internet]. 2015 [cited 2023 Dec 9]. Cancer incidence for common cancers. Available from: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/incidence/common-cancers-compared
  6. Murererehe J, Uwitonze AM, Nikuze P, Patel J, Razzaque MS. Beneficial effects of vitamin C in maintaining optimal oral health. Front Nutr [Internet]. 2022 Jan 10 [cited 2023 Dec 9];8:805809. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8784414/

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Nneamaka Mirian Nnebedum

Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Nneamaka is a dentist with profound commitment to public health advocacy. Nneamaka has amassed extensive experience through active engagement with various non-profit organisations. Her notable roles include chairperson of a Dental Education Committee and leading the Media and Communications unit of a non-profit health organisation. These roles reflect her ardent dedication to advancing health education and promotion, underscoring her impact in fostering healthier communities.

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