Benefits of Green Tea for Gum Health
Green tea has long been praised for its many health benefits. Many have known for centuries that it has unique abilities to benefit the health of those who drink it. It is not surprising then, to find that some of the benefits of green tea also mean some excellent benefits for your mouth and teeth.
Advantages of Green Tea
Green tea has many natural attributes that make it an ideal product to benefit your teeth. Over 1,500 studies have revealed that it has benefits that are capable of helping to protect your teeth.
The characteristics that make it valuable in helping your teeth are that green tea is considered to be a natural antioxidant and it possesses antibacterial properties. Although vitamins C and E are also antioxidants, which help to destroy free radicals that can lead to heart disease and cancer, the antioxidant power of green tea is as much as 30 times stronger.
Green tea also has two compounds in it called catechins that give it anti-inflammatory power. This enables it to be effective in protecting your teeth and gums against gingivitis, bleeding of the gums, and also against gum disease.
Green Tea and Gum Health
A study was conducted in Japan at the Kyushu University and published in the Journal of Periodontology that revealed the benefit of green tea on people who had periodontal disease. The participants were men who were between the ages of 49 and 59, and they all had periodontal disease.
They were all tested using three tests to determine the extent of their periodontal disease. They included measuring
- the periodontal pocket depth,
- the attachment loss, and
- how much bleeding there was from the pocket probe.
The test revealed that each of the three indicators was lowered based on the number of cups of green tea the men drank. Every cup of tea that they drank reduced the amount of periodontal damage in all three categories. At the end of the study, it was determined that the men that regularly drank green tea had much better periodontal health than those who drank less tea.
General Benefits of Drinking Green TeaThe above study offers excellent value as to how drinking green tea can benefit your overall health. Recent research has revealed that the same bacterium that causes gum disease is involved in the development of many serious health conditions. There are now believed to be more than 50 diseases that have been attributed to the bacteria behind gum disease. They include cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, low birth weight, sexual dysfunction, Alzheimer's, several types of cancer, and many more.
Other studies have revealed that drinking green tea can benefit bone health. This is valuable to your teeth because gum disease like periodontitis attack the jaw bone when it is not treated. While caffeine itself may be a risk factor for the loss of calcium in bones, it is believed that it is only a factor when the caffeine is not balanced by an ongoing supply of calcium in the diet. One study on women in Scotland revealed a positive connection between the intake of green tea's flavonoids and bone strength in the hip and lumbar spine.
Protecting Your Teeth with Green Tea
The primary cause of cavities is the bacteria in your mouth. Some types of bacteria are known to produce an acid when they consume sugar. It is this acid that erodes the enamel of your teeth and causes cavities. It is these same bacteria that cause inflammation of the gums and gum disease.
One study aimed to compare the benefits of green tea mouthwash to a well-known anti-bacterial mouthwash called chlorhexidine. Chlorhexidine is often prescribed for use in combatting the bacteria found in gum disease. The study looked at the research of seven other studies.
Some of the studies showed that green tea may be a good alternative to chlorhexidine. The researchers discovered from the studies that there really was not much difference between the results when compared. Another interesting finding was that there were no adverse side effects from green tea reported during any of the studies.
Seeing the Dentist
While mouthwashes and other dental products made to help curb the effects of gum disease may be helpful, none of them can undo the damage already done to your teeth. This requires the work of a dentist to repair gum and tooth damage, and to prevent further complications and to gain better overall health.
Green tea and teeth work well together. The overall health benefits of green tea make it an ideal drink to help protect your teeth and gums – but watch how much sugar you put in it. You also need to maintain good dental oral hygiene by brushing twice a day and flossing.
Studies show that the health benefits of green tea can improve your overall health. If you need tooth decay treatment or gum treatment for dental problems that you already have, and if you live in the Carrollton, TX or Grapevine, TX areas, Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board-certified Periodontist can help you. For more information about his dental services, or to set up an appointment, you can call his office today at (817) 756-8578.