Dental Implants: Pros and Cons

Green Tea: Good or Bad for Oral Health?

by Brett Clark

Many people enjoy drinking green tea for its distinctive and refreshing flavour. However, many do not stop to think about the possible effects of green tea on their oral health. Here are a few benefits and risks that green tea can pose to your teeth, gums, and mouth.

Green Tea Could Reduce the Risk of Gum Disease

In a study carried out in Japan, dental researchers studied the oral health of 940 men in their 50s. They found that men who regularly drink green tea have healthier gums than those who rarely or never drink it. The results suggest that sipping multiple cups of green tea every day could make your gums less likely to bleed and help your gum tissues attach more securely to your teeth.

Green Tea Fights Oral Bacteria

Green tea contains a compound called catechin. This naturally occurring antioxidant interferes with an enzyme that bacteria rely on to survive. Therefore, drinking green tea could help to reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria contribute to cavities, so it is a good idea to keep them at bay through regular brushing, flossing, and making smart dietary choices.

Drink Green Tea Without Sugar for the Greatest Benefits

If you add sugar to your green tea, you may end up cancelling out the antibacterial benefits of green tea. Sugar feeds the bacteria that cause tooth decay, allowing them to multiply in your mouth. To make your daily green tea friendlier to your teeth, drink it unsweetened or add a low-calorie sweetener such as sucralose or stevia.

Green Tea Might Stain Your Teeth

For many people, the main dental downside of green tea is the greyish stain it can leave on teeth. Tannins in tea cling to teeth, building up over time to produce a noticeable dulling effect on your brilliant white smile. To counteract this effect, some experts suggest buying premium brands of green tea, which they claim do not stain the teeth as badly. You can also use whitening toothpaste to regularly remove stains from your teeth.

Green Tea: Friend or Foe for Oral Health?

If you drink your green tea without sugar or honey, science suggests it might have a beneficial effect on your oral health. However, green tea alone cannot keep your teeth and gums healthy. Don't forget to brush and floss daily, and be sure to visit your dentist regularly for checkups.