green tea photoThere’s nothing quite like a good cup of tea on a lazy weekend morning. But did you know that the cup of green tea you’re drinking may help keep your mouth healthy?

A recent study published in the Journal of Periodontology suggests that the tea in your mug might help keep teeth in your mouth. Headed by a team of doctors from the Kyushu University faculty of Dental Science, the study followed 940 subjects who, according to a survey the team administered, either drank or didn’t drink green tea. The results were resounding: drinking green tea meant having healthier gums.

The tea in your mug might help keep teeth in your mouth

The team of scientists tracked a number of signifiers in each of their subjects, ranging from sensitivity to dental probing, to early warning signs of clinical tooth detachment. They found, to quote the study, that “the intake of green tea was inversely correlated” with the average sensitivity and tooth decay. Meaning, the more green tea the subject drank, the less likely they were to have issues with gum sensitivity and early tooth loss.

Though the team concluded soundly that there was a definite correlation between green tea and gum health, the jury is still out as to why that happens to be. One of the leading theories, is the presence in green tea of the antioxidant catechin. Already potentially linked to weight-loss by a few notable studies, catechin may have proven itself as an effective anti-inflammatory as well. This may prevent the gums from swelling in response to periodontal infection, thereby allowing the mouth to heal in a more efficient and timely manner.

If you’re looking for specifics on how much green tea you should be drinking, then look no further: the study showed that “every one cup/day increment in green tea intake was associated with a 0.023-mm decrease in the mean PD, a 0.028-mm decrease in the mean clinical AL, and a 0.63% decrease in BOP, after adjusting for other confounding variables.” Meaning, effectively, that the study found a linear relationship between the number of cups of tea their subjects drank, and how healthy their gums were.

Meaning, in other words, the more tea you drink, the better off your gums will be.

It’s been millennia since mankind first discovered the benefits of green tea. Since the first recorded evidence of green tea consumption over four thousand years ago, green tea has been credited with everything from healing wounds to curing diseases. Now, with Kyushu University’s study, it looks like another tally has been marked in green tea’s column: gum health.

Have any questions abut gum health? Contact New City Dentistry! Here, we believe that a healthy mouth means a happy patient.