Green tea is a type of beverage made from leaves that have not undergone the oxidizing process that makes darker versions of the drink, like black tea. The result is a lighter-appearing and tasting beverage that can provide wellness benefits to the drinker. Studies suggest green tea can improve blood pressure, digestion, and alertness. But this drink can also help with your oral health.
The antioxidants in green tea offer many advantages to your dental health, but if you are not careful, it could hurt your teeth too. Read on to learn more about how green tea can improve your oral health as well as potential ways it could harm it.
Protecting Gums with Antioxidants
Antioxidants refer to compounds that can fight substances that can cause cell damage. So if you consume foods and beverages that contain antioxidants, like green tea, you can reduce your risk of developing certain diseases.
For instance, antioxidants can work to reduce harmful effects from the body’s inflammatory response. It can help to reduce swelling and irritation related to inflammation from heart disease and other medical issues. But when it comes to oral health, antioxidants can help keep your gums healthy.
Gum disease is an infection of the gum tissue that affects more than half of adult dental patients in the US. It begins with inflamed gums, but the infection will spread to eat away at the teeth and jawbone without treatment from a dentist.
Dentists recommend preventative care when it comes to gum health. And antioxidants in green tea can help keep oral infections like gum disease at bay. You can see reduced symptoms from gum disease and therefore preserve your dental structure this way.
Consult your dentist if you notice any issues in your gums. Continue routine dentist appointments to have your gums checked for infections. Prompt treatment through periodontal therapy will keep your gums strong and healthy and prevent tooth loss.
Beware of Potential Dental Damage
As beneficial as green tea can be for your oral health, this beverage might also have adverse effects on the appearance of your smile. Green tea has a lighter color than black tea, but it still obtains color from substances called tannins.
Tannins will absorb into the enamel, or outer layer, of your teeth, which can leave stains behind on the surface. You cannot remove this discoloration through your oral hygiene regimen alone.
So pay attention to your smile to make sure you are not staining your teeth by drinking green tea. If you do notice stains, yellowing, or dullness in your tooth color, ask your dentist about teeth whitening options.
The antioxidants in green tea can lower your risk for tooth decay as well as gum disease. But added sugar in some green teas can put you at risk again for cavities.
This is because sugar becomes acidic when it reacts with saliva, and it can then eat away at your enamel. Steer clear of added sugar, including in green tea, to avoid dental damage.