Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Rinsing with Green Tea Improves Oral Health

Rinsing with Green Tea Improves Oral Health
Rinse with green tea and keep your teeth happy. (Photo by Daria)

I've written before about the protective effects of green tea against dental caries. Several studies have shown that green tea helps tooth and gum health by reducing harmful bacteria, increasing enamel strength and inhibiting the breakdown of starch to sugar.

Black tea, cocoa and coffee protect against oral problems too, but green tea seems to be the most effective. A new study sheds more light on how drinking green tea improve oral defense mechanisms through oral peroxidases (OPOs) (link).

The two major defensive peroxidases of the mouth are salivary peroxidase (SPO) and myeloperoxidase (MPO). Their function depends partly on diet and probably also on genes.
In the abstract of the paper, the authors mention that their earlier study showed that elderly people who drank green tea for 3 months had higher levels of oral peroxidase activity than non-drinkers. In this study, they compared the effects of green tea on OPO in vivo and in vitro.

Adding a green tea infusion to saliva increased oral peroxidase activity by 280%, while black tea increased it by only 54%. Adding only epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the main polyphenol in green tea, increased activity by 42%. The effect was dose-dependent, which I assume here means that the stronger the tea, the greater the effect.

In human subjects, green tea gave a very similar result. Mouth rinsing with a green tea infusion resulted in a 268% increase in OPO activity. Thus, while green tea extracts may be more useful than just drinking regular green tea for some purposes, for dental health drinking and/or rinsing is probably the most effective way.

Note, however, that higher levels of salivary peroxidase don't necessarily mean better oral health; in fact, people with more dental caries and gingivitis tend to have higher SPO activity (link). My guess is that this is a defense mechanism against the harmful effects of excess hydrogen peroxide, which is excreted by oral bacteria. In other words, the stronger the attack, the stronger the defense.

In the case of green tea it seems that increasing SPO really does lead to better oral health, though.

For more information on green tea and dental health, see these posts:

Drinking 10 Cups of Green Tea Daily and Not Smoking Could Add 12 Years to Your Life
Green Tea Extract Enhances Abdominal Fat Loss from Exercise
Vegetable vs. Animal Sources of Vitamin A: Why Eating Carrots Isn't Enough
Genes, Diet and Oral Health: Why Do Some People Get Cavities and Others Don't?

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11 kommenttia:

Anonymous March 19, 2013 at 11:46 AM  

Sorry for contacting you like this but I didn't find any email or other way to do so. I see that you're interested in hairloss and I'm part of a very exclusive and let's say cutting edge private forum. We would love to have you. Are you interested?

JLL March 19, 2013 at 1:03 PM  

Sure, if you leave your email here I'll contact you.


Stop gum disease March 21, 2013 at 9:27 AM  

Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film, which sticks to your teeth at the gumline. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. By thorough daily brushing and flossing you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease.

Dolce August 19, 2013 at 8:00 PM  

I wish you still posted often. I find/found your blog to be of a great help to me. I have very good oral hygiene and pretty physically fit yet I still get cavities pretty often- much due to my TMJ (unfortunately, I am a grinder and a clencher which sucks). Please please start posting regularly again. Thanks.

stukatz August 29, 2013 at 11:01 AM  

Hi, does your experiments killed you, or you're now in that cutting edge private forum mentioned above and dont want to hang out with common mortals anymore?

Pete533 November 23, 2013 at 6:25 PM  

Are you ever going to post again? Yours was my favorite blog in the health field.

Pete533 November 23, 2013 at 6:26 PM  

Are you ever going to post again? Yours was my favorite blog in the health field.

JLL November 25, 2013 at 10:57 AM  


Not sure. We'll see. But thanks!


Trystan Don De Los Reyes December 14, 2014 at 5:57 AM  

Thank you for sharing this I'm reading post to find dentist but I found your post very interesting and I read it, I didn't know that tea could help oral health. I would definitely try this at home and ask my dentist about this. Do you have more post about oral health; I'm interested to read more post from you. Thanks!

genius786 January 18, 2015 at 6:33 PM  

This is written very well you are a very good writer this is the best article i am reading on the topic. I am agree with you. Hope you will Carry on writing in the same way. Thumbs Up!

Taking Care of Your Teeth

Marine Collagen Supplement March 16, 2015 at 1:01 PM  

I loved the motto of your blogging.

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