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Matcha and Gum Disease

Posted by Sundya Ramachandran on
Matcha and Gum Disease

Just read this great article about Matcha! 

Your favorite green latte might help keep your mouth healthy, researchers have found.  Matcha —a finely ground green Japanese tea often mixed with milk or used in sweets—may keep periodontitis, severe gum disease, at bay, according to a new paper in the journal Microbiology Spectrum.

A leading cause of periodontitis is the bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis, which the researchers have discovered is inhibited by matcha.

"Matcha may have clinical applicability for prevention and treatment of periodontitis," the researchers wrote in the paper.

They found that the growth of P. gingivalis was inhibited by the presence of matcha in lab experiments. They tested matcha solution against 16 species of oral bacteria, and found that after two hours of exposure, nearly all P. gingivalis cells had been killed, and all were dead by four hours. 

Matcha tea is made using the leaves of Camellia sinensis, a green tea plant that has long been associated with antimicrobial effects. Previous research has found that green tea in general can inhibit the growth of other dangerous bacteria like E. coli, and that P. gingivalis is less able to adhere to cells inside the mouth after exposure to green tea extract.

The longer plaque and tartar remain on your teeth, the more they irritate the gingiva, the part of your gum around the base of your teeth. This irritation can cause inflammation of the gums, which may eventually lead to periodontitis, eventually causing pockets to develop between gums and teeth that fill with plaque, tartar and bacteria.

"Matcha extract inhibited the growth not only of P. gingivalis, but also of other periodontal pathobionts such as Prevotella and Fusobacterium. However, it did not inhibit growth of nine species of oral commensal streptococci. Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans in relation to periodontitis in young individuals is also resistant to matcha extract."

"The study showed that matcha extract inhibited the growth with morphological and physiological changes at the bacterial envelope. Matcha extract induced nanoparticle formation and decreased membrane fluidity/permeability without loss of membrane integrity. So, the killing activity is probably due to the multimodal inhibitory effect of macha against P. ginigivalis," Nakao added.

The researchers hope that this could help spark new uses of matcha for treating periodontal disease.

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