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Green Tea: Natural Remedy for Gum Disease

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By    |   Thursday, 11 Jan 2018 01:49 PM

Drinking green tea every day may help prevent gum disease, scientific research suggests.

Dr. Babitha Nugala, an internationally respected expert on periodontal disease, reviewed more than 20 studies of the beneficial role of green tea in cutting the risk of gum disease.

A professor at People’s College of Dental Sciences in Bhopal, India, Nugala specializes in periodontal health – the branch of dentistry concerned with gums and the other supporting structures of teeth.

After reviewing 20 studies from around the world, Nugala concluded two to three cups of green tea daily has been linked to reduced periodontal disease. But many people shun tea, black or green, because they fear stained teeth.

But according to Nugala, “there are no studies available establishing the relationship of green tea consumption and tooth staining.”

What’s more, the scientist points to other health benefits of green tea consumption – for instance, a Chinese epidemiological study found people who regularly drink green tea “reduce the risk of esophageal cancer [by] nearly 60 percent.”

But Dr. Joerg Eberhard, chairman of the Department of Oral and Lifespan Health at Australia’s Sydney University, warns that you can get too much of a good thing, when it comes to green tea.

“This doesn’t mean that if three cups of green tea are recommended, six are twice as good, because other research suggests frequent consumption of very large quantities can eventually be harmful,” notes Eberhard, a world-renowned expert on periodontal disease.

“However, it makes sense to conclude a few cups of green tea every day [to] help prevent gum disease.”

The German-educated professor, did postdoctoral research in the biochemistry department at the University of California at Santa Barbara, also points out that periodontal disease has also been linked with an increased risk for many other seemingly unrelated illnesses including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, pregnancy complications and others.

Periodontal disease, a treatable inflammatory condition, can cause such symptoms as persistent bad breath, swollen or bleeding gums, and loose teeth.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate nearly half of all Americans have periodontal disease of various levels of seriousness. It is often untreated when the victim suffers no pain and the only symptom is painless, minor gum bleeding. But this is often early-stage periodontal disease which worsens.

“Periodontists believe maintaining healthy gums is absolutely critical to maintaining a healthy body,” declares Dr. David Cochran, former president of the American Academy of Periodontology, chair of the periodontics department at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and author of numerous articles and academic papers on periodontal matters.

“That’s why it’s so important to find simple ways to boost periodontal health, such as regularly drinking green tea – something already known to possess certain health-related benefits.”

According to Nugala, modest drinking of green tea seems to lower risk of gum disease by around 20 percent.

“Drinking green tea at meals is a relatively easy habit to maintain a healthy periodontium,” he says, noting research suggests antioxidants (such as polyphenols) in green tea may combat free radicals – substances believed to responsible for gum damage and other health problems.

“The healthful properties of green tea are largely attributed to polyphenols, chemicals with potent antioxidant properties,” Nugala notes. “The antioxidant effects of polyphenols appear to be greater than those of vitamin C. Polyphenols contained in teas are classified as catechins.”

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Chalk up another health benefit for green tea. A new analysis of scientific studies finds the beverage of choice among many alternative medicine practitioners helps to prevent gum disease when consumed daily.
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