Tea and dental health

Fully oxidized tea leaves for a robust cup.

Apr 10th 15 2:46 am
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Joined: Apr 9th 15 7:33 am

Tea and dental health

by lifeflower » Apr 10th 15 2:46 am

Black tea may help fight plaque and tooth decay, say American microbiologists.

Green tea is often praised for its health-giving effects. Like fresh fruits and vegetables, it’s rich in antioxidants. These mop up free radicals in cells, produced by exposure to oxygen. Unchecked, free radicals can damage DNA and proteins in the cell and probably play a role in cancer and heart disease.

But what about black tea – which accounts, after all, for around 80 per cent of world tea consumption? Researchers at the University of Illinois have just revealed that black tea kills mouth bacteria and reduces the build up of plaque on teeth. It fits with recent work by Japanese scientists which showed that black tea reduces the number of dental cavities people develop.

The researchers had volunteers rinse their mouths with black tea for 30 seconds five times at three minute intervals. How this practice would relate to normal tea drinking isn’t yet clear, but did stop plaque-producing bacteria from growing. So tea is good for your teeth – especially after a meal. Just make sure you don’t add sugar to it!

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Apr 10th 15 11:04 pm
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Re: Tea and dental health

by Chip » Apr 10th 15 11:04 pm

... interesting ...

Apr 13th 15 7:18 am
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Re: Tea and dental health

by Bok » Apr 13th 15 7:18 am

Not that I needed more reasons to drink tea, but that is interesting.
Just one (esthetical) downfall for the teeth – it makes them yellow :mrgreen:

Apr 13th 15 11:40 am
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Location: Taiwan

Re: Tea and dental health

by xiaobai » Apr 13th 15 11:40 am

Black teas (especially cheap commercial ones) are often made from leaves harvested during the Summer, when the tea bushes produce most fluoride. This may explain why it protects your teeth better against the plaque (comparatively, most greens are made from leaves collected during Spring). Some types of dark (that is, fermented not oxidized) tea like those produced in Hunan and Shaanxi, are also made with leaves harvested during Summer and can contain even higher amounts of fluoride.

In traditional Tibetan/Mongolian preparations, such dark teas are boiled for a long time, which enhances the release of fluorinated compounds.

Abusing black teas and such dark teas can produce a disease known as
fluorosis (quite common in Tibet and Mongolia):


In addition, Black tea contains oxalates in large amounts.


The latter can lead to various kinds of kidney problems if you drink too much black tea and/or your diet is also rich in other oxalate-rich foods like spinach, beet root, red fruits, etc.

Nothing is perfect. Drink tea with moderation and try to have a diverse tea diet too :)