Matcha Mouthwash Inhibits Bacterium That Causes Periodontitis

Highlights:
  • Periodontitis is linked to tooth loss and other health concerns.
  • Past studies suggest that green tea products can act against P. gingivalis, which causes periodontitis.
  • In a new study, researchers tested matcha extract, made from green tea, against the pathogen.
  • Lab studies suggest matcha inhibits the growth of the bacteria.
  • A clinical trial showed that matcha mouthwash inhibited P. gingivalis populations in saliva.
Periodontitis is an inflammatory gum disease driven by bacterial infection and left untreated it can lead to complications including tooth loss. The disease has also been associated with diabetes mellitus, preterm birth, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer. One of the chief bacterial culprits behind periodontitis is Porphyromonas gingivalis, which colonizes biofilms on tooth surfaces and proliferates in deep periodontal pockets. 

Matcha, a finely ground green tea powder, may help keep P. gingivalis at bay. This week in Microbiology Spectrum, an open-access American Society of Microbiology (ASM) journal, researchers in Japan report that matcha inhibited the growth of P. gingivalis in lab experiments. In addition, in a clinical study involving 45 people with periodontitis, people who used matcha mouthwash showed significantly lower levels of P. gingivalis in saliva samples than at the start of the study. “Matcha may have clinical applicability for prevention and treatment of periodontitis,” the authors noted in the paper. The open-access article is titled “Multimodal Inhibitory Effect of Matcha on Porphyromonas gingivalis.”
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