By now I am sure you have heard of the many health benefits of green tea from head to toe, but have you ever stopped to wonder if green tea benefits your teeth? green tea and oral healthPeople have been sipping this delicious drink, hot or cold, for thousands of years and enjoying a variety of health benefits without even realizing it!

Studies of (older, 50+) men have revealed that the anti-inflammatory properties of green tea can aid in the preservation of teeth. How it works is pretty amazing.

Antioxidants in Tea

The antioxidant catechin helps to reduce inflammation which also reduces bleeding and attachment loss. All important factors in keeping periodontal disease away and teeth healthy. A University of Texas study demonstrated that these same antioxidants have also been proven to slow the rate of cancer cells. Other studies have shown that catechin can help with weight loss. Catechin is a surprisingly helpful antioxidant.

People who consume green tea regularly have less periodontal disease, which is a disease of the gum tissues and bone that surround the teeth. With less periodontal disease, teeth are kept longer because the tissues and bone are healthy. Regular tea drinkers have us many ten more teeth than non-tea drinkers. That’s a lot of teeth to bare! Who knew all that was in your tea cup?

Effects on Teeth and Gums

It would make sense to hear that this little powerhouse of a leaf outperformed breath fresheners as well. Great tea’s ability to reduce bacteria resulted in fresher breath time and time again. When going up against mints and parsley green tea came out the clear winner. One thing to avoid, adding sugar or other sweeteners to your drink. This can actually promote decay rather than inhibit it even though the tea is working to reduce bacteria.

While green has seemingly miraculous properties it also does have one little flaw. This delicious beast of a beverage can cause reversible stains to the teeth because of the high level of tannins in it. The stains are typically yellow to brown, the same color as the tea. The good news about this is that the stain is easily removed.

The best way to maintain is to prevent. A good home care routine will help avoiding stain in the first place. This includes nightly flossing and brushing twice a day, or more. If you don’t feel you have time to brush, even rinsing your mouth out can help. If the stain has gotten the best of you and you start to notice your smile has a dingy tinge to consult your dental professionals. They will be able to inform you of your whitening or cleaning options. Usually your teeth are cleaned, then, if necessary, the teeth are whitened afterwards. Whitening can happen in the office, or in the home. It is best to work with your oral health care team to avoid sensitivity and to avoid over whitening which can give the teeth an almost clear appearance. Your dental team can help you decide if whitening is required and talk about the risks with you.