Posted by Neelam Goswami on November 27, 2008

Washington, November 27: Adding more to health benefits of green tea, a new research has found that brewed tea has no erosive effect on teeth instead its natural antioxidantsdefine provide protection for teeth.

Though the health benefits of green tea have been known for centuries, recent study is providing concrete evidence of these benefits.

Several types of beverages can hurt enamel, the protective shell around teeth. Soda and citrus juice that contain sugar and acids, particularly citric acid promote tooth erosion. But the latest study claims that home brewed green tea does less damage to tooth enamel than other beverages.

The study published in the July/August issue of General Dentistry, the clinical, peer-reviewed journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), also shows that home brewed green tea is better than black tea when it comes to tooth protection.

For the study, lead researcher Mohamed A. Bassiouny, DMD, BDS, MSc, PhD compared green and black tea to soda and orange juice for their erosive effect on human teeth.

The researchers found that the erosive effect of tea was similar to that of water, which has no erosive effect. Further, he discovered that green tea is better than back tea because of its natural flavonoids (plant nutrients) and antioxidantsdefine.

"When we look at tea and read about the benefits, it's amazing - not because green tea is 'the in thing'- but because there are advantages," Bassiouny said.

Experts suggest that tea lovers should drink tea without additives such as milk, lemon, or sugar as they combine with tea's natural flavonoids and decrease the benefits. They also suggest that people should avoid prepackaged iced teas because they contain citric acid and high amounts of sugars. In addition, tea should be home brewed, either hot or cold.

Erosion is the loss of tooth structure due to chemical dissolution by acids not of bacterial origin. Erosion is found initially in the enamel and, if unchecked, may proceed to the underlying dentin.

Kenton Ross, DMD, FAGD, AGD spokesperson, said that he meets several patients with erosion problems on a daily basis in his practice. "Severe cases of erosion occur monthly and are frequently associated with high rates of soft drink consumption," he says. "This study clearly shows that brewed teas resulted in dramatically less enamel loss than soft drinks and acidic juices."

"I would highly recommend patients choose tea as an alternative to more erosive drinks like soda and fruit juice," says Dr. Ross.

Green tea is a type of tea made solely with the leaves of Camellia sinensis that has undergone minimal oxidation during processing. Green tea originates from China and has become associated with many cultures in Asia from Japan to the Middle East. Recently, it has become more widespread in the West, where black tea is traditionally consumed. Apart from tasting good, brewed tea consumption is reportedly associated with various health-promoting properties.

Its natural antioxidants are thought to decrease incidence of cancerdefine, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Green tea has been used as traditional medicine in areas such as China, Japan, India and Thailand for controlling bleeding and helping heal wounds to regulating body temperature, blood sugar and promoting digestion.

It is believed that tea contains high levels of fluoride, which have a protective effect on the teeth at certain levels. However, excessive use of it could damage teeth.

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