Study finds green tea can fight gum disease

A recent study suggests that routine intake of green tea can help promote healthy teeth and gums.

Researchers from Japan analyzed the periodontal health of 940 men, and found that those who regularly drank green tea had superior periodontal health than subjects who consumed less green tea. Their findings were recently published in the Journal of Periodontology (2009, Vol. 80:3, pp. 372-377).

"It has been long speculated that green tea possesses a host of health benefits," stated study author Yoshihiro Shimazaki, D.D.S., Ph.D., of Kyushu University Faculty of Dental Science in Fukuoka, Japan, in a press release by the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP). "And since many of us enjoy green tea on a regular basis, my colleagues and I were eager to investigate the impact of green tea consumption on periodontal health, especially considering the escalating emphasis on the connection between periodontal health and overall health."

The presence of the antioxidant catechi may explain why green tea can help reduce symptoms of periodontal disease, according to the AAP. Previous research has shown that antioxidants can reduce inflammation in the body, and the indicators of periodontal disease measured in the current study -- periodontal pocket depth (PD), clinical attachment loss (CAL) of gum tissue, and bleeding on probing (BOP) -- suggest the existence of an inflammatory response to periodontal bacteria in the mouth.

So green tea might promote periodontal health by interfering with the body's inflammatory response to periodontal bacteria, the AAP stated.

Copyright © 2009

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