Healthier gums with green tea

Drinking green tea may give men healthier gums. That’s according to a report just issued by the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) which states that men who drink green tea on a regular basis have a decreased risk for gum disease when compared to men who don’t drink much of the green brew.

Periodontal Health “It has been long speculated that green tea possesses a host of health benefits,” says the author of this study, Dr. Yoshihiro Shimazaki from the Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan. “And since many of us enjoy green tea on a regular basis, my colleagues and I were eager to investigate the impact of green tea consumption on periodontal health, especially considering the escalating emphasis on the connection between periodontal health and overall health.”

The Japanese study assessed the depth of periodontal pockets, loss of gum tissue, and how much bleeding was produced when gums were probed. The researchers found a decrease in each of these three measurements for each cup of green tea quaffed on a daily basis by the participants.

Reduce Inflammation Shimazaki’s team posits that these health benefits result from the wealth of antioxidants found in green tea. Antioxidants serve to reduce inflammation no matter where it is found.

Gum disease is attributed to bacterial infection that stems from plaque buildup on the teeth. Experts believe that the resulting symptoms of receding gum tissue, swelling of the tissues, bleeding gums, and bone loss are the result of the body’s inflammatory response to the plaque-borne bacterial infection.

Of late, several systemic inflammatory diseases have been seen to be associated with periodontal disease. These diseases include chronic kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. To experts, this suggests that the inflammatory response has greater implications in gum disease than were realized in the past.

Proactive Step To that end, the authors of the Japanese study posit, taking the proactive step of drinking green tea for its antioxidant anti-inflammatory effects may reduce your risks for developing disorders related to inflammatory responses and not just for gum disease. Green tea can now be found in local grocery stores and one can find the tea in both caffeinated and decaffeinated varieties. Some say that the health benefits may vary according to the brand of tea or whether or not it is caffeinated, but the truth is that antioxidant effects can be found in any type of green tea. It certainly can’t hurt to drink a few cups a day and you may even develop a yen for the stuff.