Green Tea and Dental Health
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Not only is green tea delicious and good for the soul, but research suggests that it benefits your oral health as well. Green tea contains compounds called polyphenols, a unique kind of antioxidant that can reduce inflammation and fight plaque-causing bacteria. At Prescott Dentistry, we understand how much you value your health—and we do too! That’s why we want to share this incredible connection between green tea and dental health with you. Here are 5 things it can do for your mouth:
Fights Bad Breath
Green tea controls certain compounds in our mouths that can result in bad breath. Brushing your teeth and tongue are the first steps to fighting bad breath. But drinking green tea can be an important part of your oral hygiene routine as well. In a 2008 study, researchers found green tea to be effective in controlling volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) in your mouth. VSCs are produced by bacteria in the mouth, causing bad breath.
Most methods of treating bad breath focus on killing the bacteria, rather than VSCs. For this reason, the study found that green tea was actually more effective in getting rid of stinky breath than mints, chewing gum, and parsley seed oil. Check out our post on halitosis for other ways to fight bad breath!
Green tea controls bacteria and lowers the acidity of saliva, reducing the buildup of dental plaque. A recent study conducted in Egypt tested people before and after rinsing with green tea. The test subjects had who rinsed with green tea and less harmful bacteria( which can lead to the formation of tooth decay) and acid in their mouths than those who didn’t.
Helps Tooth Sensitivity
Scientists in China looked at the effects of combining nano-hydroxyapatite (a substance that helps rebuild tooth enamel) and a green tea polyphenol known as EGCG. They found that by applying this mixture to extracted wisdom teeth, they could protect the surface of the tooth, reducing sensitivity as well as cavities. Researchers are looking into adding it to toothpaste to provide extra protection for the teeth.
Controls Oral Cancer Growth
The antioxidants in green tea help protect against cellular damage and cancerous tumor growth. One study done at Pennsylvania State University found that EGCG (in addition to reducing tooth sensitivity) has the ability to damage cancer cells in the mouth while promoting the health of normal cells. In another study conducted at the University of Texas, green-tea extract was given to patients with precancerous lesions in their mouths, and it slowed the progression of the lesions developing into oral cancer.
Fights Gum Disease
As if all that wasn’t reason enough to drink green tea, its polyphenols also help control periodontal (gum) disease. A Japanese survey of 940 men aged 49-59 found that those who drank green tea regularly had healthier gums than those who didn’t. A German study had similar findings in people who were asked to chew candy that contained green-tea extracts.
Visit Prescott Dentistry
Now that you understand the connection between green tea and dental health, be sure to reach for green tea the next time you turn the kettle on. If you’re not a big tea drinker, you can try oral care products that contain green tea, such as toothpaste and mouthwash. You can even chew gum or suck on candy made with green tea—just make sure they’re sugarless! Either way, green tea can easily become an enjoyable part of your oral hygiene routine. And don’t forget to visit us at Prescott Dentistry twice a year for cleanings to keep your smile healthy and beautiful!