It is well understood that the hops used in beer brewing are what gives beer its bitterness and distinctive aroma. However recent research suggests that the leaves of the hop may in fact offer dental protective properties which include antioxidants that may protect dental cavities and gum disease. The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry have apparently identified the specific substances that deliver these protective effects. These were identified as bracts, which are antioxidant polyphenols that limit oxidative reactions. The bracts seemed to prevent bacteria from adhering to teeth and thus releasing bacterial toxins accumulating. Considering approx 30,000 tons of hops are harvested for beer production in the US every year, that leaves a lot of bracts that can be used for dental applications. Lets put them to good use!
American Chemical Society, (2014). Hop leaves — discarded in beer brewing — have substances that could fight dental diseases. Retrieved 20th March, 2014, from http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/presspacs/2014/acs-presspac-march-5-2014/Hop-leaves-discarded-in-beer-brewing-have-substances-that-could-fight-dental-diseases.html