Smile-Saving Green Tea Benefits
Put the kettle on
Plant chemicals in green tea known as catechins may combat bacteria that lead to cavities and gum disease. These same chemicals may also help prevent tooth loss.
This current report reviewed data from the Ohsaki Cohort 2006 Study, in which 25,078 people (ages 40 to 64) living in Japan filled out questionnaires that included questions about green tea intake and about dental health. Results showed:
- People who drank 1 cup or more of green tea a day had a lower risk of tooth loss than people who drank less.
- Study researchers comment that a typical green tea preparation contains a catechin concentration of 50 to 150 mg per 100 ml and suggests the amount of catechins contained in 1 cup of green tea might be enough to help prevent tooth loss.
- Other lifestyle choices may have had an effect on the participants’ dental health. It should be noted that no definitive conclusions about the impact of green tea on tooth loss can be drawn from this study alone.
Tips to protect teeth
Tooth loss is most commonly caused by tooth decay and gum disease, so it is important to practice healthy behaviors that optimize the health of your teeth and help prevent disease. Here are some tips for keeping your teeth healthy:
- See a dentist. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing each day, and recommends regular teeth cleaning and check-ups at a dentist’s office.
- Cut down on sugar. As it may increase cavity-producing bacteria in the mouth, limit sugar in your diet and don’t add it to tea or coffee drinks.
- Eat a balanced diet. Don’t rely on green tea alone for dental health. It is important to eat a balanced diet that includes an abundance of veggies and fruits and a source of protein.
(Prev Med 2010;50:173–9.)