Did You Know That Drinking Green Tea May Improve Your Oral Health?

Dentist Blog

Green tea doesn't only offer benefits for your general physical health, it's good for your oral health too. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, recent research suggests that drinking green tea every day may lower the risk of periodontal disease.

Role of Catechins

Green tea contains catechins—natural antioxidant compounds that fight oral bacteria that can lead to gum disease. Catechins are known to reduce inflammation in the body, including gum inflammation and infections that cause periodontal disease. As it progresses, gum disease can lead to receding gums, loose teeth, tooth loss, and certain chronic diseases. Green tea undergoes little processing and therefore is high in catechins.

The natural polyphenols, including catechins, found in green tea help fight gum inflammation and gum disease. Flavonoids are another polyphenol in green tea that fight off free radicals and may contribute to better dental health.

Power of Antioxidants

Teas such as green, black, white, and oolong tea, which are made from the Camellia Sinensis plant, are high in antioxidants—higher even than the levels of antioxidants, such as vitamins E and C, found in fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants repair or even prevent damage to your body's cells that oxidation and the release of free radicals cause.

Although your body can produce on its own some of the antioxidants that neutralize free radicals, you get additional antioxidants from the foods you eat and beverages you drink. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)—a potent antioxidant—is the most abundant type of catechin found in green tea.

The catechins in green tea may also prevent the growth of P. gingivitis, Prevotella intermedia, and Prevotella nigrescens—types of infection-causing oral bacteria that may play a role in the development of periodontal disease. While black tea and oolong tea are derived from the same tea plant, these teas are fermented, which lowers the concentration of catechins and other polyphenols as well as their antibacterial effect.

Tea Brewing

Steeping green tea in warm water helps heighten antioxidant activity, which may lead to numerous health benefits. You can also get additional benefit by adding a bit of lemon. The vitamin C in the lemon helps your body absorb more of the catechins in the tea.

Vitamin C has its own antioxidant properties along with helping to maintain healthy gingiva—the connective tissue surrounding the teeth. Inadequate vitamin C alone increases your risk of developing chronic gingivitis.

To get the oral health benefits from green tea without drinking it, another alternative is to use toothpaste and mouthwash made with green tea that you can buy at natural food stores. Contact a local dentist for more information and assistance. 


20 July 2017

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