Green tea counteracts teeth bleaching, not bad breath
SUMMARY: If you're looking for an all-in-one teeth bleaching and bad-breath-fighting product, green tea is not for you.
Posted: February 10, 2012
Occasionally, headlines will point you to a study saying that green tea can fight halitosis. Or really, they'll say something like "green tea may reduce oral odor in carefully controlled lab conditions, but more research is needed." You know the drill. "May" becomes "can," "might" becomes "does." Still, facts are facts: Green tea is not an effective method of teeth bleaching or halitosis elimination.
You can be forgiven for thinking it was. The fact is that studies come out every month or so attesting to the all-but-magic properties of green tea. The most recent appeared in the journal Archives of Oral Biology. It's authors said that "green tea polyphenols can abolish halitosis through modification of odorant sulphur components."
Now don't get us wrong, this brewed beverage is one of nature's great gifts to mankind. It's warm and soothing. It contains antioxidants. It wakes up the taste buds before a meal. But that doesn't mean that it can eliminate oral odor or perform teeth bleaching any better than, say, a specialty breath freshening gel.
The new study's authors were at least correct in saying that sulfur-based molecules are to blame for halitosis. They are. However, if you've ever sipped on some some fresh, strong green tea, you know that you don't come away with miraculously fresh breath.
In fact, this beverage usually makes the breath smell like, well, rancid green tea. No wonder the study's authors concluded that "there is still a need for more clinical and biological studies to support guidelines for green tea intake."
Now, green tea CAN fight halitosis when combined with other all-natural ingredients in an alcohol-free rinse. But when drunk on it's own, it does diddly squat.