By now, you have probably heard many of the benefits of the ancient medicinal tea first consumed by the Chinese more than 4,000 years ago. However, did you know that researchers have shown it can help diminish bad breath?
A recent study showed the polyphenols contained in green tea can stop the production of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs). These compounds may be some of the primary causes of why your spouse won’t kiss you in the morning.
VSCs arise from bacteria in your mouth eating whatever you are eating – or whatever you ate a few hours ago, or last night before you went to bed and forgot to brush. The process literally putrefies your saliva, breaking proteins down into hydrogen sulphide (rotting egg smell) and methyl mercaptan (rotting cabbage smell). Ewww!
Great, so no more toothpaste for me, right? Wrong. Toothpaste shows similar but slightly reduced VSC prevention. It makes up in this deficiency by lasting longer. Where green tea only freshens your breath for about an hour, toothpaste can diminish VSC production up to three hours.
Further, toothpaste delivers fluoride to your teeth, which is paramount in cavity prevention. So what’s the take-home message? Try replacing your afternoon coffee break with some green tea and have as many cups as you like. That, along with regular flossing, brushing, and dental checkups, should help keep those pesky (and putrid!) VSCs at bay.