Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Drinking Tea Something To Smile About

Drinking brewed tea, whether hot or iced, is one of the better beverage choices when it comes to protecting teeth from enamel erosion. Tooth enamel, the outer layer of the exposed tooth, is often under attack from sugars and acids in beverages like regular soft drinks, orange juice, and energy drinks.

A recent study compared the erosive effects of tea (green and black) to soda and orange juice using in-vitro tests. Water was used as the non-erosive control, and vinegar was the erosive control. The 20-week study was conducted under controlled conditions, and results were categorized as highly, moderately, or minimally erosive.

The results for black and green tea were similar to that of water – minimally erosive. Soda and orange juice were shown to be moderately erosive, and vinegar remained highly erosive.

Bassiouny MA, Kuroda S, Yang J. 2008. Topographic and radiographic profile assessment of dental erosion. Part III: Effect of green and black tea on human dentition. General Dentistry. Jul-Aug;56(5):451-61.

Green Tea vs. Gum Disease

Drinking green tea was inversely related to periodontal (gum) disease, according to the results of a recently published epidemiologic study. The study analyzed 940 Japanese men, aged 49 to 59 years old who took part in a comprehensive health exam.

The measurable outcomes were the following periodontal parameters: probing depth, clinical attachment loss, and bleeding on probing. The intake of green tea was defined as the number of cups per day in a self-administered questionnaire.

Drinking green tea was related to a modest drop in each of the three gum disease parameters. The relationship seems to be dose-dependent. Each additional cup of tea was associated with a greater decrease in gum disease factors.

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