The Unexpected Oral Health Benefits Of Green Tea

Green tea is a popular beverage for good reason — it boasts many health benefits, as per WebMD. While it was originally consumed solely in the countries of China and Japan, the last few centuries saw it make its way into the Western world and become a highly coveted drink. Nowadays, you can find it in many different forms, from processed and sweetened iced tea drinks to pure, loose-leaf varieties that can be steeped at home.

Given that green tea has zero calories, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, sugar, and protein, you may be wondering where the health benefits come from. Well, this lies in the other compounds found in the tea, such as polyphenols, which have been found to reduce inflammation in the body and keep cancer at bay, as explained by Healthline. More specifically, green tea contains epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which has many benefits of its own, including protecting cells from free radical damage, among others.

Drinking green tea can also contribute to a healthy heart. In a 2006 study of more than 40,000 adult Japanese participants, researchers discovered that consuming no less than five cups of the beverage per day significantly lowered the risk of dying of cardiovascular disease. But this is just one more of many benefits. Making green tea a part of your daily routine can also lower your cholesterol and your risk for stroke, and improve inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis (per Medical News Today). Additionally, it can have surprising benefits for your oral health.

Protect yourself against oral disease with green tea

In one 2009 study published in the Journal of Periodontology, researchers gathered more than 900 participants to determine how the number of cups of green tea consumed per day correlated with periodontal health. They found a modest connection between the two, noting that the more cups consumed per day was correlated with a lowered presence of periodontal disease. The researchers pointed to the polyphenols found in green tea as a possible explanation for this finding, writing that these compounds reduce the growth of oral pathogens.

Zen Dental Center also touts the oral health benefits of green tea, naming cavity protection as just one outcome. The center explains that the tea contains compounds that fight against cavity-causing bacteria that may be present on the teeth and gums. In a 2012 article about the benefits of green tea on periodontal health, researchers also pointed out that studies have shown the catechins contained within the tea are responsible for inhibiting pathogens found in the mouth.

If you suffer from bad breath or halitosis, you may also be pleased to learn that regular green tea consumption can help reduce this problem. Per the same 2012 article, researchers explained that oral microorganisms let off by-products that contribute to bad breath. Green tea has antimicrobial effects that work against these microorganisms, reducing their presence and action in the mouth. The tea can also temporarily work as a deodorizer, freshening things up without the need for mouthwash or teeth-brushing.