Green tea goes back 4,000 years ago in Asian cultures where ancient Japanese and Chinese health practitioners used green tea to heal wounds and cure diseases. Recent scientific studies have shown that a cup of green tea has enormous benefits from weight loss to cancer prevention. Many people have been switching their morning routines from coffee to tea to take advantage of its multiple health benefits. A Japanese research study put the consumption of green tea to the test to see if its unique benefits had an impact on teeth and periodontal health.
A published study in the Journal of Periodontology analyzed 940 Japanese men ages 49 to 59 to see if those who regularly drank green tea had healthier gums than those who drank less green tea. Researchers examined participants of the study using three indicators of periodontal disease: (1) periodontal pocket depth, (2) clinical attachment loss of gum tissue (CAL), and (3) bleeding (BOP) of the gum tissue using a probe. What they found was for every cup of green tea consumed per day, the three indicators decreased indicating a lower occurrence of gum disease in those subjects.
Why Does Green Tea Work?
It’s believed by researchers that the antioxidant Catechin is what reduces the severity of periodontal (gum) disease that manifests itself by infection and inflammation, redness and bleeding. Periodontal disease affects not only the gum tissue but also the bone that supports our teeth. Green tea naturally protects the teeth and gums by inhibiting the growth of oral bacteria and plaque. It has also been discovered that green tea contains fluoride that further enhances our protection against tooth decay.
Not to give green tea all the attention, but recent studies have also shown that black tea, very common in iced tea, and oolong tea have many oral benefits as well. A recent study at the University of Illinois, College of Dentistry, has found that both the polyphenols and the antioxidant Catechin found in black and oolong teas also reduces the growth of oral bacteria responsible for cavities.
In Preventive Medicine, a published study found that drinking one cup of green tea every day can also help you keep your teeth longer as you age provided you didn’t drink it with sugar. In this study, Japanese researchers from the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine examined more than 25,000 Japanese men and women between the ages of 40 and 64. When interviewed, they found that men who drank at least one to two cups of green tea a day were 19 percent less likely to suffer from tooth loss that those men who did not drink green tea at all.
Whether you drink your tea hot or cold, iced tea tends to be more diluted. According to the Tea Association of the U.S., some 85 percent of the tea consumed in the United States is iced tea, which is usually made with black tea. One potential downside to drinking tea is that it stains our tooth enamel. Now only if they could develop a type of tea that provided heart-healthy antioxidants along with a whitening benefit, we would all be smiling pretty!
Here at Mark Langberg, DDS, we can provide you with all the answers you need to all your dental and oral health questions. Come in today and find out what a dental office with all the current innovations, knowledge and technologies can do for you. Experience a smile that’s not only healthy but one that you’re proud to show. Don’t settle for less. You only get one smile. Enjoy it!
Until Next Time,
Mark W Langberg, DDS, MAGD
Your Southfield Family Dentist
Tel: (248) 356-8790