Green tea’s ability to help reduce symptoms of periodontal disease may be due to the presence of the antioxidant catechin. Previous research has demonstrated antioxidants’ ability to reduce inflammation in the body, and the indicators of periodontal disease measured in this study, PD, CAL and BOP, suggest the existence of an inflammatory response to periodontal bacteria in the mouth. By interfering with the body’s inflammatory response to periodontal bacteria, green tea may actually help promote periodontal health, and ward off further disease. Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth, and has been associated with the progression of other diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Because green tea controls bacteria and lowers the acidity of saliva and dental plaque, it may be a useful tool in preventing cavities. A recent Egypt-based study tested people before and after they gave their mouths a five-minute rinse with green tea. The test subjects had less bacteria and acid in their mouths, as well as reduced gum bleeding. Other research has found that drinking green tea shows promise when it comes to preventing tooth decay.
Green tea’s anti-inflammatory powers seem to help control periodontal (gum) disease. A Japanese survey of almost 1,000 men found that those who drank green tea regularly had healthier gums than those who didn’t. A German study found similar positive results in people who were asked to chew candies containing green-tea extracts.
Less Tooth Loss
It makes sense that a substance that helps prevent cavities and gum disease will help you keep your teeth. But in case you need proof, here it is: Japanese research published in 2010 reported that men and women who drink one or more cups of green tea a day were more likely to hold on to their natural teeth.
The antioxidants and other properties of green tea appear to protect against cellular damage and cancerous tumour growth. In one study at the University of Texas, green-tea extract was given to patients with precancerous lesions in their mouths, and it slowed the progression to oral cancer. Animal studies have also found that tea compounds can inhibit cancer growth.
Green tea has been associated with better-smelling breath. Why? Likely because it kills the microbes. A study by The University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Dentistry measured showed that green tea outperformed mints, chewing gum and even parsley-seed oil.