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Herbal Tea Damages Teeth – Or Does it?

tea.jpgA recent article in Science Daily reported that More U.S. Teeth Susceptible To Silent Enamel-Eating Syndrome

Otherwise known as: “dental erosion”.

Cavities or not, your teeth could be in more trouble than you know because of a silent and destructive phenomenon called dental erosion. … the incidence of dental erosion, which is the steady loss of the teeth’s protective enamel, is on the rise in the United States.

One of the culprits: herbal teas.

(Researchers) discovered a 30 percent prevalence rate of dental erosion among 10- to 14-year-olds in the United States…dental erosion is caused by acids found in products that are being more widely consumed than ever in the U.S. These include soft drinks, some fruit juices, sports drinks, herbal teas, beer salts, and the some candies.

Did he say herbal tea? Well, he did but…let’s look a little closer.

An earlier study in the UK did a similar study and found:

Researchers at the University of Bristol Dental School have found these teas erode the enamel or protective layer on teeth. Some are even more harmful than orange juice, which is very acidic and is known to harm teeth. The researchers said the findings should act as a warning to people who regard herbal teas as a healthy alternative to other drinks.

However…what teas did they test?

Notice the suspicious incidence of fruit infused teas on this list? Dental erosion is caused by an overabundance of acid flowing over the teeth. This can be caused by any drink with a high ph level….in other words acidic. (If you were a chemistry major and want to get into the details you can here.)

So, any fruit based drink, juice, herbal tea, natural fruit sodas, etc consumed to excess can damage teeth, which is why water should still be your liquid of choice. But, a cup of herbal tea now and then is fine. Drink more? You might want to stick with chamomile. That was found to have an alkaline (non damaging) base.

Comments

  1. AS with anything and everything … a little is good, a lot is not better.
    Momzilla

  2. You have it backwards. The LOWER the pH, the HIGHER the acidity. An herbal tea with a pH of 3 would have ten times the acidity of one with a pH of 4, and so on. But you’re right that if the people conducting that study included mainly herbal teas with fruit infusions then those teas would have a higher level of acidity than non-fruit infused teaa.

  3. yeah, i read that herbal tea was bad for teeth, but i am glad it’s not true. they tested teas with fruit in them so obviously they would have high acidity. regular herbal tea probably isn’t bad for teeth, although i hear that black or white teas are better and really help your teeth, but herbal tea shouldn’t hurt your teeth.

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