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Cuppas combat cavities? New research reports on tea benefits

28th August 2013

From time to time the humble cuppa is credited with assisting a myriad health issues.

Tea – in various guises of green, mint and the normal brew – has been credited in medical and media reports to help cases of Parkinson’s Disease, high blood pressure and indigestion as well as to reduce certain cancer risks.

Now the latest reports claim that at least three cups a day can help keep your teeth in good condition and cut the risk of decay.

photo showing a simple

– The humble cuppa…at centre of
new research

Black tea – according to the report in the Daily Mail at the weekend – can help to combat two particular types of bacteria – Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus – associated with tooth decay and gum disease.


Dr Carrie Ruxton who has written about her findings in the British Nutrition Foundation’s “Nutrition Bulletin” headed up this new study and believes that the most effective tea dose was 3-4 cups per day.

The research scientists reported that black tea continued to fight decay, even when some sugar had been added to it.

Green tea – long associated with having health benefits – also appeared to have a similar effect – but in addition helped prevent cases of bad breath by effectively neutralising the sulphur compounds that contribute to the condition.

Dr Ruxton believes that there is good evidence that tea drinking protects against tooth loss and is quoted as saying: “Evidence specific to black tea suggests that three to four cups a day could help to reduce levels of bacteria in the mouth,
‘I’m sure this news is set to be welcomed by dentists and hygienists alike as as they continue to educate the nation on the need for greater oral care.’

Tea contains antioxidant ingredients called flavonoids and catechins, tannin-type substances, that have an anti microbial effect.

The new report also looks at how green tea could help weight loss, increases energy expenditure and burning up more body fat.


As you can imagine the Tea Advisory Panel, set up by the industry, was positive in its welcome for this latest research.

Their spokesman Dr Tim Bond was quoted in reports saying: “A relatively little known benefit of tea until recently has been its potential for reducing the risk of dental caries.

‘This benefit is thought to be due to a reduction in inflammation in the oral cavity and prevention of the adhesion and growth of bacteria linked to periodontal disease.”

Our dental hygiene team here at our Glasgow dental clinic can provide you with information about foods and drinks that may cause some additional risk of dental decay. We can also give advice on maintaining good dental hygiene which in turn can help minimise the incidence of bad breath.

If you have any questions about this post or would like to find out more information about the dental services and treatments we can offer patients please call our Glasgow dental clinic reception team on 0141 339 7579.

Image courtesy of Kritsana/

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