An ingredient in black tea may play a role in preventing periodontal disease (advanced gum disease) according to a newly published study just out. Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease of the tissues, including the bone that surrounds our teeth. If untreated, it can lead to loosening and loss of the teeth. This condition is caused by bacteria (plaque – a sticky white film full of microorganisms) that adheres to and grows on the tooth’s surfaces, together with an increased response to the bacteria from the immune system. Several inflammatory substances are involved in the response to bacteria on the tooth surface and one of these inflammatory substances is CXC chemokine ligand 10 (CXL 10). CXL 10 is linked to the development of periodontal disease.
Commenting on the study, Dr Catherine Hood from the Tea Advisory Panel (TAP) notes: "In this laboratory study, researchers from Japan tested a polyphenol ingredient found in black tea (theaflavin-3, 3’-digallate (TFDG)) for an effect on CXL10 production from human gingival (gum) cells. They found that the black tea polyphenol reduced CXL10 production and they also discovered a potential mechanism by which the beneficial ingredient achieves this. TFDG, (which is one of a group of four compounds in the same class) was shown to inhibit the phosporylation of key enzymes involved in CXL production and so reduced the production of this inflammatory compound."
"Other polyphenol ingredients have also been found to reduce CXL10 production in gingival cells. A study by the same research group last year found that various catechins, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and epicatechin gallate (ECG), present in black tea, also decreased CXL production. "
"Taken together these two studies provide information on the mechanism by which black tea and its ingredients could help stem the onslaught of periodontal disease (advanced gum) - great news for the health of our pearly whites."
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