The study, which examined the dental health of 940 men, found that those who drank green tea regularly had better oral health than those who consumed less.
Male participants, aged 49–59, were examined on three indicators of gum disease: researchers found that for every cup of green tea consumed per day, a decrease in all three indicators occurred.
Chief Executive of the Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, welcomed this new research and said: “Any new study which brings dental healthcare into the spotlight is a step in the right direction.
“Like any study of a relatively small number of people we can never be certain of the results – but because tea is relatively cheap and easily available we must take notice of studies of this type and we at the Foundation will continue to watch and report on this and similar stories.”
The British Dental Health Foundation has previously reported on studies which show a connection between drinking green tea and decreasing the growth of cancer cells in the body.
The Foundation stresses that early detection is key to beating mouth cancer, Dr Carter added: “Without early diagnosis the chances of survival plummet down to 50 percent.”
Around 5,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with mouth cancer each year, making it the UK’s fastest growing cancer. Although the disease has previously been most common in men over the age of 40, an increasing number of women and young people are now being diagnosed.
Tobacco is still considered to be the main cause of mouth cancer in the UK, with tobacco and alcohol thought to be contributing to at least three–quarters of cases. Recently the HPV virus transmitted by oral sex and also a culprit for cervical cancer has also been identified as a risk factor for mouth cancer, particularly in the increasing number of younger people being affected.
An unhealthy diet is also thought to be a factor, with growing evidence suggesting an increased intake of fruit, vegetables, fish and eggs helps to lower the risks.
Initial signs of mouth cancer can include a non–healing mouth ulcer, a red or white patch in the mouth or unusual lumps or swelling the mouth.
For information and expert advice on mouth cancer and oral health issues call the National Dental Helpline on 0845 063 1188 or visit www.mouthcancer.org.
The original green study appeared in the Journal of Periodontology.
More information about the study can be found in the May issue of the British Dental Journal online at http://www.nature.com/bdj/journal/v208/n9/pdf/sj.bdj.2010.436.pdf
For further information please contact the Foundation’s Press Office on 01788 539 792 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For information and expert advice on mouth cancer and other oral health issues call the Dental Helpline on 0845 063 1188, alternatively visit the website at www.mouthcancer.org
Smoking is still the number one cause of mouth cancer. Cigarette smoke converts saliva into a deadly cell–damaging cocktail.
Switching to low–tar cigarettes will not help, as smokers of ‘lights’ tend to inhale more smoke than smokers of ‘regular’ cigarettes.
Alcohol aids absorption of smoke into the mouth – people who smoke and drink alcohol to excess are 30 times more likely to develop mouth cancer.
It is recommended that people enjoy a healthy, balanced diet, including food from each of the major food groups and including fruit and vegetables of all different colours as each colour contains different vitamins.