Many of us could use a little pick-me-up in the morning, and coffee is largely the drink we turn to. Sure, it causes tooth stains and bad breath, but go into any Starbucks on your way to work and you’ll see a packed house. But what if I told you that switching from coffee to green tea could help you improve your oral health and reduce your visits to the dentist?
Green Tea and Overall Health
Green tea has been consumed for centuries due to its medicinal benefits, which includes improve heart health, regulating body temperature, promoting digestion, and improving mental processes. In America, black tea is often the tea of choice, but it contains far fewer antioxidants and more caffeine. The unfermented leaves of green tea, on the other hand, contain much higher concentrations of polyphenol and catechin—important antioxidants—which are important for treating high cholesterol, cancer, diabetes, liver disease, and more.
Green Tea and Oral Health
Besides supporting your overall health, research has also shown that green tea can:
- Reduce periodontal inflammation
- Kill oral cancer cells
- Inhibit the formation of plaque
- Repel odor-causing bacteria
If your daily routine involves one or more cups of coffee, give green tea a chance to see what kind of difference it could make in your life.
Research has shown a link between gum disease and a number of health problems, including diabetes and heart disease. Researchers have also long known about a link between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis, but they haven’t known why the two were linked. New research is showing why these two inflammatory problems might be connected.
The research, carried out by University of Louisville School of Dentistry Oral Health and Systemic Diseases researcher Jan Potempa, PhD, DSc, shows that the bacteria that causes gum disease can worsen rheumatoid arthritis, leading to early onset and speeding up progression. This means increased damage to bone and cartilage. Gum disease can lead to chronic inflammation and destruction of the cartilage in the joints.
Studies have also shown that people with gum disease experience higher rates of rheumatoid arthritis.
This is just one more reason that you need to take extra care to prevent and fight against gum disease. The best way to protect yourself from the ill effects of gum disease is through a combination of regular visits twice a year to the dentist and daily brushing and flossing. Many people neglect to floss regularly. It is recommended that you floss once a day, which allows you to sweep away the bacteria that causes gum disease from below the gum line. Brushing alone cannot adequately protect you from gum disease. And gum disease isn’t just linked to rheumatoid arthritis. It’s the leading cause of tooth loss as well, and contributes to a variety of other systemic diseases.
So if it’s been a while since your last visit to the dentist, make sure to make an appointment soon to find out about your gum disease status and any other oral health problems that might be threatening your overall health and wellbeing!