What’s the secret to a great smile? Beautiful teeth and gums…and a cup of green tea?
A study conducted in Japan found that the more green tea people drink, the healthier their gums are, decreasing their risk of periodontal disease and reducing the effects of receding and bleeding gums. Gum disease is caused by an inflammatory response to bacteria in the mouth. According to the research, just one cup of green tea a day can help reduce risk of gum disease.
The health power of green tea is attributed to the antioxidant properties of flavonoid phytochemicals called “catechins.” Antioxidants contained in the tea help fight the inflammation caused by periodontal disease. Green tea has been known to prevent periodontal disease by killing a particular strain of bacteria in your mouth that creates toxins and destroys the gums and bones surrounding the teeth. Catechins are also present in wine, grapes, chocolate and black tea. Because green tea is not oxidized, unlike black tea, it contains the greatest amount of catechins.
There are other health benefits of green tea: cancer prevention, strong bones, weight loss, not to mention fresh breath. Now it looks like we can add dental health to the list of reasons why green tea is a healthy beverage choice.
While green tea has no serious side effects, its taste can still be unpleasant to some. It also may have central nervous system stimulating effects, so people suffering from sleep disorders should not consume green tea in large quantities. Pregnant women are also advised to avoid green tea during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
Instead of reaching for a bottle of soda, which will risk decay of your bones and teeth, reach for a cup of green tea and find yourself with more things to smile about.