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Winter Park Family Dentistry and Prosthodontics

What every dental patient needs to know about tea


Tea is one of the most frequently consumed beverage in the world.  As such its important that dentist have an understanding of both its health benefits as well as the potential negative aspects of tea drinking.


Antioxidants:  Tea provides a compound called catechin.  It is a strong antioxidant that can help repair potential harmful reactive oxygen species in the human body


Heart Health: The same antioxidant,  catechin promotes blood vessel dilation (relaxation) which resists vessel hardening known as atherosclerosis.  Studies have shown that tea consumption reduces ishemic heart disease as well as helps ward off dangerous plaque build-up on artery walls knows as cardiovascular disease.


Neurological Benefits:  Green tea contains polyphenolic compounds (called EGCG) this compound has been shown to disrupt the progression of Alheizmers disease.  In a 2012 study EGCG was linked to improved memory in mice.  


Reducing Cancer Risk:  A 2012 study green tea catechins showed that EGCG can trigger apoptosis (cell death) in prostate cancer cells.  Another 2012 study found that Chinese women that drank an average of 2-3 cups of green tea/day had a reduced risk of digestive system cancers.


Tooth staining:  Tea (and coffee) contain chromogens which have a natural affinity for dental enamel, they bind and can cause tooth discoloration.  This discoloration can be managed and removed using various tooth whitening products.  


Lower risk of dental decay:  Oolong tea contains polyphenls which inhibit the function of bacteria (S. mutans) from attaching to teeth and cause dental decay.  


Fluoride:  Black tea contains a high 6.5 ppm level of fluoride.  Fluoride in high doses has been shown to cause skeletal fluorosis and developmental tooth defects.  

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