Berry Good

Blueberries and blackberries are winter favourites and good for oral health.

Hundreds of studies show that berries provide a protective effect against oxidation—a principal cause of cellular damage and a major contributor to illness including oral disease.

Blackberries and blue berries get their intense colour from polyphenol antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-microbial properties, and thought to be key to improving the condition of our mouths.

From cold sore, to cavities and gum disease – winter berries are hold great promise:

Cold sores:

Dr. Mumper and Dr. Craig Miller of the University of Kentucky reported in the September 2011 issue of Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology & Endodontics, that an application of blackberry extract on the herpes simplex virus (HSV) was found to have virucidal effects 1.  The study concluded that a topical treatment containing the extract might prove highly effective in treating oral lesions associated with HSV1.


Reducing gum disease:

Our two berry champions show great promise for gum disease. Blackberry extract significantly reduces (by 40%) the metabolic activity of key oral bacteria, Porphyromonas gingivalis and Fusobacterium nucleatum (both known to cause periodontal disease)1.  And, blueberry extract has been found to reduce Fusobacterium nucleatum (which plays a role in gum disease) biofilm by 90%2.

Currently, the most effective method of preventing pathogenic oral bacteria from causing gum disease is the use of chlorhexidine mouthwashes. However, long-term use can lead to oral staining and increased tartar build up. Blackberry extract offers a potential alternative that is safe for long-term use.

Reducing tooth decay:

There’s also evidence that blackberry extract reduces bacteria that cause cavities. Studies showed that blackberry extract resulted in a 30% reduction in Streptococcus Mutans (the key bacteria responsible for dental caries) population in vitro2.


1) Danager, R. J., et al. (2011) Oral Surgery Oral Medicine Oral Pathology Oral Radiology, September, Vol 112, e31-e35. “Antiviral effects of blackberry extract against herpes simplex virus type 1”.

2) Ben Lagha, B. et al (2015) Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry, Vol 63, 6999-7009, “Wild Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait) Polyphenols Target Fusobacterium Nucleatum ane the Host Inflammatory Response: Potential Innovative Molecules for Treating Periodontal Diseases”.