green tea and oral health

Green tea may be just a pleasant tasting drink for some people; however, green tea can benefit your oral health in many ways.

Tea is the second most common drink consumed worldwide, mainly green tea — people from all age groups fancy this drink.

Green tea consists of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial compounds that provide many health benefits and allows the body to detoxify at the same time.

The beneficial effects of green tea are not limited to general health. Herbal components of green tea have proven to show improved periodontal health.

Recent studies have revealed that regular green tea drinkers develop increased alveolar bone mineral density.

Moreover, green tea aids in maintaining a healthy oral environment which puts them at a lesser risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss.

Looking at all the potential benefits, health care manufacturers have started launching oral care products that contain elements of green tea.

Today’s article will highlight the oral benefits of drinking green tea with a particular focus on periodontal health.

What is green tea?

Green tea is a unique form of tea made from the leaves of Camellia Sinensis. The leaves are not oxidized, and it is one of the less processed types of tea as compared to other varieties of herbal tea. This is one of the reasons that green tea has intact antioxidant properties. (1)

Traditionally, green tea is used in Indian and Chinese medicines and helps to prevent a wide range of ailments like inflammation and cancer.

What is the correlation between green tea and periodontal health?

One of the critical factors that make green tea the perfect healthy drink for gums is the presence of flavonoids. Green tea flavonoids inhibit the activity and growth of harmful bacteria.

The anti-inflammatory property leads to reduced gum inflammations and soreness. A Japanese study done on 940 male green tea drinkers between the age 50-60, determined some amazing outcomes of improved periodontal health.

Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gums that may affect the health of the teeth and the underlying bone.

Researchers found that drinking one cup of green tea every day provided enough antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components that intervened the inflammatory process of the gums. Furthermore, it offered improved periodontal health. (2)

Green tea in the above study significantly improved the following –

What are the general effects of green tea on oral health?

Now that you’ve read about the specific periodontal health benefit of drinking green tea let’s look at some of the general benefits green tea has on the oral tissues –

Decreased incidence of dental caries

Green tea has an antimicrobial property that decreases bacterial load and lowers the acidity of plaque and saliva. As a result, it reduces the chances of bacterial acid attack on the tooth surface and eventually prevents tooth decay. (3)

Improved gum health

As mentioned above, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of green tea improve the health of the gums and periodontal tissues. Additionally, it decreases the incidence of gum bleeding and infections.

Tooth loss prevention

Reduction in tooth loss is a cumulative effect of improved periodontal health and oral hygiene. Recent studies have shown that men and women who drink green tea regularly have a high chance of holding on to their natural teeth for a long time.

Cancer control

Antioxidants present in green tea have shown to protect the tissues from cellular damage and tumor growth clinically. Moreover, green tea decreases the progression of a precancerous lesion in the mouth or body.

Good oral hygiene

With all the oral health benefits, good oral hygiene is bound to be one of the outcomes of green tea. Reduced bacterial load, improved the health of teeth, and gums automatically provide a better smelling breath. Green tea even outperforms mint and chewing gums.

Tips on drinking green tea

If you are one among us and want to start a routine to drink green tea daily, here are some of the guidelines that you can follow –

  • It is safe to consume up to five cups of green tea in a day
  • The best way to maximize your health benefits is to prepare your tea well. Use a ceramic pot to boil fresh water and bring it to cool for three minutes. Pour this water over the tea leaves or tea bag and let it settle for another three minutes.

If you are not a tea drinker, you can still enjoy the benefits of green tea by using oral health care products infused with green tea extract. For example, herbal toothpaste and mouthwash that contain green tea as their principal ingredient. (4)

Take away message

Green tea is a form of herbal tea which is made from the leaves of Camellia Sinensis. This herbal tea is one of the most popular tea variety consumed by people of all age.

Green tea consists of three essential properties. The antioxidants that help to improve soft tissue health and also prevent cancer growth.

Anti-inflammatory compounds reduce gum and periodontal inflammations. Moreover, it decreases the soreness and bleeding around the gums.

Antimicrobial activity of green tea helps to maintain the plaque and bacterial load in control. It, therefore, provides a fresh breath to the individual.

For non-tea drinkers, oral health manufacturers have produced oral health care products that contain green tea extracts which hold similar beneficial property as green tea.

If you are a green tea drinker, this article is the right thing for you to read about all the oral health benefits of green tea, especially periodontal health.