Tea and Dental Health: Prevention of Dental Caries

Dental caries, caused by bacteria such as streptococcus mutans and s.sobrinus, are common oral health issues that occur due to the buildup of dental plaque. These bacteria secrete an enzyme called Gurukoshirutransferaze, which generates unsoluble polysaccharides, causing plaque to form on teeth. Once formed, the dental plaque produces lactic acid that dissolves calcium from the enamel on the surface of teeth, leading to the development of further dental caries.

Tea leaves contain various compounds that can prevent the activity of Gurukoshirutransferaze and control the adhesion of dental caries mutants. The catechins, oolong tea polyphenol, black tea Teafurabin, and Neroridoole present in tea leaves are effective in controlling the formation of dental caries.

Polyphenols in green and black tea can prevent the activity of saliva and dental caries mutans and control the decomposition of starch into maltose, which prevents the generation of carbohydrates that can be activated by dental caries mutants.

Fluorine is also present in tea leaves, which helps in the adhesion of CaF2 materials on the enamel surface, strengthening the surface of teeth. These effects have been observed in animal models and humans, as polyphenol in oolong tea and green tea controls the formation of cavities in rats, and elementary school students with cavities decreased as they drank green tea with lunch.

The effects of tea on dental caries are already being utilized in products such as chewing gum and sweets.

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