Green Tea – Tea that is made from unfermented leaves and is pale in color and slightly bitter in flavor. Most people do not realize how important nutrition is to their dental health. Not only is what we eat important to avoid tooth cavities but it also plays a big role in maintaining the soft and hard tissues in the mouth. We need certain essential vitamins and nutrients in our diet to maintain these tissues.
Vitamins and Nutrients for Optimal Oral Health
There are many vitamins and nutrients that are good for optimal oral health. Here are just some of the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to stay healthy orally:
–Calcium. Your teeth and jawbones are made up mostly with calcium. Without the proper amount of calcium intake, you will have an increased risk of developing periodontal disease and tooth cavities. Calcium can be found in milk, yogurt, cheese, beans, and oysters.
–Iron. Iron deficiency can cause inflammation of the tongue as well as cause sores to form inside your mouth. Iron is found in many different foods, including liver and red meat. Other foods rich in iron include bran cereals, some nuts, and spices.
–Vitamin B3 (niacin). A lack of vitamin B3 can cause bad breath and canker sores in the mouth. Ingestion of chicken and fish can raise levels of Vitamin B3 in the body..
–Vitamins B12 and B2 (riboflavin). Not consuming enough of Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B2 can also cause development of mouth sores. Red meat, chicken, liver, pork, fish, as well as dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese, are all good sources of vitamin B12. Vitamin B2 is found in foods like pasta, bagels, spinach, and almonds.
–Vitamin C. Insufficient vitamin C will lead to bleeding gums and loose teeth. Great sources of vitamin C are sweet potatoes, oranges, and raw red peppers.
–Vitamin D. It is very important to consume enough vitamin D because it helps your body absorb calcium. A diet lacking or low in vitamin D will cause burning mouth syndrome. Symptoms of this condition include a burning mouth sensation, a metallic or bitter taste in the mouth, and dry mouth. Drink milk, and eat egg yolks and fish to increase your vitamin D intake. It has also been recently suggested to spend 10 minutes outdoors a day to benefit from the natural vitamin D we can absorb from sunshine.
Add Green Tea to List?
New studies have shown that green tea can be added to list of foods and liquids needed for optimal oral health. The research suspects antimicrobial molecules contained within green tea helps preserve teeth. Some also suggest rinsing and gargling with green tea. Adding sugar to the green tea negates this finding.
The study found the following findings:
-People aged 40-64 who drank one cup of green tea a day were less likely to lose teeth.
-Drinking unsweetened coffee showed no effect on keeping teeth. But drinking coffee sweetened with sugar actually increased your chances of losing teeth over time.
-Antimicrobial molecules called catechins are believed to account for the benefits of green tea. Catechins have been shown to destroy mouth bacteria associated with tooth decay and gum disease.
The actual study found that men who drank at least one cup of green tea per day were 19 percent less likely to have fewer than 20 teeth (a full set including wisdom teeth is 32) than those who did not drink green tea. Green tea drinking women had 13 percent lower odds. Maintenance of healthy teeth and gums is part of maintaining a healthy body. Every little boost is a step closer to maintaining optimal health. Adding green tea to your regimen can be just the boost you need. As always see your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.