The interesting thing about tea is that it can be both good and bad for your teeth. For example, green tea specifically is actually pretty good for your gums, and your gingival health. However, most teas cause tooth staining which isn’t great. Let’s talk more about the good and the bad and the best ways for you to drink tea to better benefit your mouth.
- As the old saying goes, sometimes it’s possible to have too much of a good thing, you never want to overdo anything. So that’s something to definitely keep in mind, everything in moderation is key.
- Another thing to keep in mind is that tea usually isn’t just tea when most people drink it. Lots of times people will add other things to their tea like honey, sweeteners, etc., which are all cavity-causing sweets. Stuff like that will completely offset this blog’s information. Please remember that we are talking about just plain tea with no additives.
- The last thing to keep in mind is how often you’re sipping on tea. Because that will determine the contact time that the liquid has on your teeth. Hypothetically it might be better to drink more tea in less time than it is to drink less tea over a longer period of time.
Why green tea is good?
Green tea specifically contains natural antioxidants which actually help combat inflammation such as swollen red gums. There are also certain compounds inside the tea leaves that aid in healing and reduce bacterial levels. There have been some awesome studies that I read about where those who drink green tea each day had better gum health compared to those who did not. Everything from the attachment level of their gums, pocket depth to bleeding, was analyzed in these studies.
Since periodontal disease contributes to tissue detachment and tooth loss, it was suggested that the anti-inflammatory benefits of green tea were thought to aid in deterring this common oral infection of the gum disease. If you are someone who frequently experiences bleeding when you brush or floss or you struggle with gum disease, drinking more green tea could potentially reduce your risk for chronic gum disease in addition to getting routine dental cleanings and proper home care of brushing and flossing.
Some dentists also recommend sipping on green tea after oral surgery because how it helps accelerate wound healing and limits bleeding. Also, it’s not uncommon to hear dentists recommend using tea bags to soothe sore gums after a dental extraction or a gum graft. But it’s still so awesome to report that something other than water might actually be good for your dental health.
There are a few more things to tell you interestingly enough, green tea may also contribute to preventing cavities.
I know we keep talking about the gums, but the antioxidants in your green tea may also impact the PH of your saliva and any plaque in your mouth helping neutralize acid levels that are responsible for forming cavities in the first place.
Preventing bad breath.
Just like bacteria can cause cavities, it can also be responsible for bad breath. Since green tea helps kill microbes in your mouth, it can also help you better control any foul odors you might be concerned about. Just remember you’ll also need to get in there and physically clean them off too. A tongue scraper, toothbrush, floss, etc. green tea does not replace brushing and flossing.
Lastly oral cancer.
In addition to healthier teeth and gums, drinking green tea could also potentially lower a person’s chance of developing oral cancer. Some of the polyphenols inside the green tea are actually proven to impede tumor cells. For that reason, some experts recommend frequent green tea drinking to limit the chance of developing cancer in general. But while we’re on the topic, it’s also important to note that some health experts have reported drinking both green and black tea might be counterproductive when treating specific diseases, such as prostate cancer. It’s not necessarily good to drink in every single situation.
As we know the biggest side effect of tea on your tooth enamel is staining. Sipping on it fairly frequently will lead to tooth discoloration, sometimes even worse staining than from coffee. So make sure you’re avoiding it if you’re trying to whiten your teeth.
Another way to limit tooth stains from tea is to simply rinse with water immediately afterward or try to drink through a straw in all green tea. It’s an all-natural drink that offers lots of health benefits for your mouth. But drinking it in the wrong way like adding sweeteners or sipping on it all day long will definitely impact your smile in a negative way. So try to avoid unnecessary sweeteners and try to drink tea in a specific time frame as opposed to sipping on it all day long.
I hope this helped. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.