Freshen Your Breath with Tea

By William I. Lengeman III

Even if you’ve never been afflicted with halitosis (bad breath), you’ve probably had the misfortune of encountering someone who suffers from it. There’s no way to be sure how many people are plagued by this malodorous affliction, but the host of breath-freshening products on the market provide a good indicator of the scope of the problem. Not to mention the fact that there’s The International Society for Breath Odor Research (ISBOR), a group that’s banded together to fight this malady.

Green Apple Green Tea
Green Apple Green Tea

Though there are assorted and sundry causes of bad breath, researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine discovered that an organism called solobacterium moorei is present in most cases of chronic bad breath. They recommended brushing twice a day with antibacterial toothpaste. For even better results bad breath sufferers might want to consider using a toothbrush with a tongue scraper.

Fortunately for lovers of camellia sinensis, we may all have a head start when it comes to breath freshening. Researchers from the Department of Oral Biological and Medical Sciences at the University of British Columbia found that green tea “was very effective in reducing oral malodor temporarily because of its disinfectant and deodorant activities, whereas other foods were not effective.”

Research conducted prior to this study had also discovered that tea might help ward off bad breath. A 2003 study, conducted at Pace University in New York City, discovered that green tea could fight bacteria by inhibiting their growth, thereby improving the effectiveness of toothpaste and mouthwash in combating the problem.

Another study, headed by Christine D. Wu, PhD, professor of periodontics at the University of Illinois, Chicago, found that black tea extracts could aid in inhibiting the growth of bacteria associated with bad breath by up to 30 percent. Catechins and theaflavins in tea are thought to be responsible for this effect.

William’s tea blog, Tea Guy Speaks, is one of the best going today!

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