A recent study conducted in Japan found that drinking a cup of green tea daily may cause a 20 per cent reduction of the risk of tooth loss and improve oral health. Also, drinking additional cups creates additional reductions of risk, with five or more cups a day associated with a 23 per cent risk reduction, according to the study published in Preventive Medicine.
Green tea contains thirty to forty per cent antioxidants known as polyphenols. There are four primary types known as catechins.
The study analyzed information regarding over 25,000 people between 4o and 64 years. People with more than twenty remaining teeth were measured regarding their daily green tea consumption. The researchers determined that one to four cups of green tea daily was associated with an 18 per cent reduction in tooth loss risk.
Because it is an observational study, the link appears to be very real, but this one study is not definitive. Earlier studies have suggested that green tea ingredients, the catechins, may stop the growth of oral bacteria that cause the development of chronic gingivitis.
The authors noted, “A number of experimental studies have shown that green tea catechins inhibit oral bacteria, while some experiments have indicated that the concentration of tea catechins should be more the 100mg/100ml. A typical cup of green tea contains catechin concentration of 50-150 mg/ml.
“Therefore, this amount of catechin in one cup of green tea might be sufficient to aid tooth retention.”
Source: Preventive Medicine: Association between green tea consumption and tooth loss: Cross-sectional results from the Ohsaki Cohort 2006 Study