People who drank green tea retained more teeth, vitamin B12 reduced canker sores, and omega-3s lowered oral bacteria and dental disease, in several new studies.
In a green tea study, researchers reviewed dental data from 25,078 men and women, aged 40 to 64. Those who drank one to five cups of green tea per day were 20 percent less likely to lose a tooth compared to those who didn’t drink green tea. Previous studies have shown green tea catechins inhibit oral bacteria.
In an oral health study, 58 people with recurrent canker sores took 1,000 mcg of vitamin B12 per day or a placebo. After five months, compared to placebo, the vitamin B12 group had many fewer, much shorter canker sore outbreaks and much less pain. After six months, compared to 32 percent for placebo, 74 percent in the vitamin B12 group had no outbreaks.
Researchers in a lab study found that omega-3 fatty acids reduced the anti-bacterial activity of many oral pathogens by 50 percent. Doctors used eicosapentaenoic (EPA), docosahexaenoic (DHA) and alpha-linolenic acids.
In another dental study, doctors measured the amount of omega-3s in the diets of 55 people, average age 74. During five years of follow up, those who consumed the most DHA were 33 percent less likely to develop periodontal disease compared to those who consumed the least. Doctors said DHA has anti-inflammatory properties, which curb bacteria that trigger inflammation, which can destroy the bone structure supporting teeth.