Green tea is a popular drink in Asia, long-known in Eastern culture for its health benefits. Green tea is gaining popularity in Europe and North American countries as well. While ancient Chinese and Japanese medicine held the tenet that green tea consumption could prevent disease, a study published in the Journal of Periodontology shows that regular intake of green tea also helps promote healthy teeth and gums.
Green tea is naturally rich in antioxidants that eliminate free radicals, which contribute to several chronic health issues like heart problems, inflammatory disease, and cancer. The powerful antioxidant catechin in green tea can fight harmful bacteria in the mouth and reduce the risk of periodontal disease (a chronic inflammatory disease affecting the gums).
Here are other oral health benefits from regular green tea intake:
- Prevents Cavities – Green tea fights off streptococcus mutans, the bacteria that cause tooth decay. It also helps reduce the acidity of saliva and formation of plaque. Moreover, an Egypt-based study found that rinsing your mouth with green tea for five minutes can prevent bleeding gums.
- Promotes Healthy Gums – People who regularly drink green tea tend to have healthier gums compared to those who do not. Catechin acts as an anti-inflammatory agent that fights gingivitis and bleeding.
- Reduces Cancer Risk – Green tea has other properties that prevent cellular damage and cancerous tumour growth. A 2009 University of Texas study found that green tea extracts help prevent the formation of oral cancers in patients who already have a high risk of lesions in the mouth. It also contains polyphenols, which can slow the progression of cancer. The combination of green tea extracts with other compounds maximizes its efficacy.
- Prevents Tooth Loss – While reducing the risk of gum disease, green tea could lower the likelihood of tooth loss. Enjoying at least one cup of green tea a day may strengthen teeth and increase your chances of keeping them as you age.
- Eliminate Bad Breath – Certain properties in green tea help kill microbes in the mouth the cause bad breath. Green tea polyphenols effectively reduce the growth of bacteria (which can cause Strep throat and tooth decay) by 30 percent and lower the production of compounds that cause halitosis.
A cup of hot green tea not only warms the body — it promotes overall health. If you are not a green tea drinker, you can try oral care products infused with green tea extract. Most importantly, visit a dentist at least twice a year for checkups and cleanings.
If you require a caring dentist in London, Ontario, call Cosmo Dental Centre to make an appointment: (519) 659-2767.