Cranberry polyphenols: potential benefits for dental caries and periodontal disease

J Can Dent Assoc. 2010:76:a130.


Over the past decade, cranberries and their molecular components have received increasing attention from researchers in human health. In particular, the properties of the high-molecular-weight polyphenols isolated from cranberries have shown promise with regard to dental caries and periodontal disease. These potential anticaries agents inhibit the production of organic acids and the formation of biofilms by cariogenic bacteria. In addition, cranberry polyphenols may reduce the inflammatory response, as well as the production and activity of proteolytic enzymes contributing to the destruction of the extracellular matrix in periodontal disease. The polyphenols of cranberries also interfere with various activities (including formation of biofilm and adhesion) of Porphyromonas gingivalis, the main etiologic agent in chronic periodontitis. This article summarizes the scientific evidence supporting the potential of cranberry polyphenols to prevent and/or treat diseases of the mouth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acids / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Bacteria, Anaerobic / drug effects
  • Bacterial Adhesion / drug effects
  • Biofilms / drug effects
  • Chronic Periodontitis / drug therapy*
  • Chronic Periodontitis / microbiology
  • Dental Caries / drug therapy*
  • Dental Caries / microbiology
  • Flavonoids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors
  • Phenols / therapeutic use*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Polyphenols
  • Proanthocyanidins / chemistry
  • Proanthocyanidins / pharmacology
  • Vaccinium macrocarpon*


  • Acids
  • Flavonoids
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase Inhibitors
  • Phenols
  • Plant Extracts
  • Polyphenols
  • Proanthocyanidins