Maintaining good oral health is important to preventing tooth loss and leads to total body health. Recent research is showing one serving of green tea a day may help deter tooth loss; although, the effect is negated when the tea is sweetened with sugar.
Antimicrobials called catechins, present in green tea, are responsible for the benefit. So far, only green tea and oolong tea have been found to have a positive effect on oral health. Drinking black coffee appears to have no effect while, drinking coffee with sugar increases the risk of tooth loss.
It was originally thought that the benefit was a result of rinsing the mouth with a warn liquid which decreases bacteria in the mouth but, the same benefits are not seen in coffee-drinkers.
Catechins have been shown to kill mouth bacteria associated with tooth decay and gum disease, so it is likely that this is why the benefit is seen with green tea and not with other warm drinks.
Poor oral hygiene, systemic diseases, stress, smoking, medications and bad diet can all contribute negatively to gum disease. The early effects of gingivitis are completely reversible if discovered in time. It is important to visit the dentist regularly to ensure that there have not been any changes in oral health.
A simple way to decrease plaque formation is to decrease the number of sugary drinks and foods eaten. The less sugary drinks and foods that are eaten, the less opportunity there is for plaque to form. Establishing good eating habits from childhood will reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes, obesity, tooth decay, gingivitis, high blood pressure and many other systemic, long-term health concerns.
Good oral hygiene habits that remove plaque will decrease the chances of decay forming. Brush teeth thoroughly after each meal and limit between meal snacking. Flossing every day and drinking plenty of water will benefit oral and total body health.