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Go Green For a Healthy Mouth! Oral Health Benefits of Green Tea | General Dentist in Portland
Updated: Sep 3, 2022
Green tea has been hailed for its health benefits and enjoyed for thousands of years globally, particularly in East Asia. Made from the leaves and buds of the Camellia sinensis plant (often called “tea plant”), there are dozens of different types of green tea with different processing and preparation methods as well as different flavor profiles.
Whatever type of green tea you enjoy, you can sip easy knowing it is one of the world’s healthiest beverages, with great health benefits from head to toe! Just be sure to drink unsweetened green tea, since added sugar will offset any health benefits as well as its natural delicious flavor.
Green Tea Oral Health Benefits!
Cavity Protection - Antioxidants in green tea have potent bacteria-killing properties, and drinking green tea also lowers the acidity of saliva and dental plaque. Multiple studies and research have shown that regularly drinking unsweetened green tea can help protect against cavities and prevent tooth decay.
Gum Health - Green tea contains flavonoids, which have anti-inflammatory benefits. Regularly drinking green tea can help reduce gingivitis, the inflammation of gums and the earliest stage of gum disease. Other inflammation-based issues green tea has been shown to help include: acne, skin diseases like psoriasis and dandruff, arthritis and more.
Better Breath - Bad breath is chiefly caused by oral bacteria. With its antibacterial properties, green tea kills microbes that make our mouths stinky! In a University of British Columbia study, researchers measured the level of smelly compounds in people’s mouths after they were given green-tea powder or other bad-breath reducing substances. In this study, green tea outperformed mints, chewing gum and parsley-seed oil!
Reduce Risk of Cancers - Oxidative stress and damage contributes to development of cancer, and many studies have shown that regular drinkers of green tea (an excellent source of antioxidants) are significantly less likely to develop several types of cancer, including oral cancer. In a University of Texas study, in which green tea extract was given to patients with precancerous lesions in their mouths, green tea was shown to slow the progression of oral cancer. Lowered risk of other serious health issues and diseases, like stroke and type 2 diabetes, have also been linked to regular green tea consumption.
Bonus: More Health Benefits of Drinking Green Tea!
Heart Healthy - Green tea contains significant amounts of flavonoids and polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that protect the heart by reducing “bad” (LDL) and total cholesterol levels, blood pressure, triglycerides and blood fats. Drinking green tea regularly can reduce risk of blood clots, improve blood vessel function and lower rates of arterial blockage.
Supports Brain Function and Health - Both caffeine and the amino acid L-theanine present in green tea work together to improve brain function and health. Green tea does not contain as much caffeine as coffee: it has enough caffeine to produce a response but not enough to result in that distracting jittery effect, which means that green tea can help you stay alert and focused!
Helps Promote Weight Loss - Green tea may boost metabolic rate in the short term, and some studies indicate that drinking several cups of unsweetened green tea daily can lead to increased weight loss, particularly belly fat.
As with all healthy drink and food choices, drinking unsweetened green tea alone is not a miracle cure or solution, and should be included with a good oral and overall health care routine. But packed with potent and powerful antioxidants, green tea might possibly be the healthiest beverage in the world! Historically, green tea was originally consumed and prized by emperors, gentry, Buddhist priests and scholars. Today, green tea can be enjoyed by anyone for its delicious flavor and all around health benefits!
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