Does Matcha Stain Teeth? The Truth About Matcha and Teeth Stains
Matt Hannan, DDS
Updated: January 13, 2024
Matcha is a trendy superfood that’s become a staple in many people’s diets.
But for some, the thought of drinking matcha may be met with concern about teeth staining.
In this article, we’ll uncover the truth about matcha and teeth stains and provide tips for maintaining a healthy smile from a dentist’s perspective.Recommended Reading: Teeth Staining | The Ultimate Guide
Does Matcha Stain Teeth?
Matcha contains chromogens, pigmented compounds that can cause teeth staining.
However, research suggests that matcha may be less likely to cause staining than other drinks like coffee and red wine.
A study published in the Journal of Dental Sciences found that matcha caused less staining of hydroxyapatite ceramic than black tea, suggesting that matcha may be less likely to cause teeth staining than other types of tea.
While it’s still possible for matcha to cause teeth staining, some studies suggest that the antioxidants in matcha may help prevent teeth stains by reducing inflammation and fighting harmful bacteria in the mouth.
However, more research is needed to thoroughly understand the antioxidants’ effects on teeth staining.
That being said, it is still possible for matcha to cause teeth staining, especially if it is consumed frequently or in large quantities.
If you are concerned about matcha staining your teeth, there are several steps you can take to minimize the risk of staining.
What Is Matcha?
Matcha is a type of green tea made by grinding high-quality tea leaves into a fine powder.
Unlike traditional green tea, which is steeped in water and discarded, matcha is consumed entirely. Matcha is known for its bright green color and slightly bitter taste.
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- Rich in Antioxidants: Matcha is loaded with catechins, antioxidants that reduce inflammation and combat cellular damage from free radicals.
- Boosts Metabolism: Contains EGCG, known to enhance metabolism and aid in fat burning.
- Improves Brain Function: The caffeine and L-theanine in matcha work together to boost cognitive performance and alertness.
- Lowers Chronic Disease Risk: Antioxidants in matcha may reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.
- Promotes Relaxation and Stress Reduction: L-theanine in matcha induces relaxation without drowsiness, helping to alleviate stress.
- Supports Dental Health: Despite potential teeth staining, matcha’s antioxidants can help prevent tooth decay and reduce gum inflammation.
Matcha is a nutrient-rich drink that may offer several potential health benefits. However, it’s important to remember that matcha, like any food or drink, should be consumed in moderation as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
Dentist Recommendation: I recommend consuming matcha in moderation. Excessive consumption can lead to tooth erosion and damage to your tooth enamel, which can make your teeth more susceptible to staining.[
What Causes Teeth Stains?
Various factors, including poor oral hygiene, aging, genetics, and certain foods and drinks, can cause teeth stains.
However, when it comes to teeth staining from food and beverages, the main culprit is chromogens, compounds that give certain foods and drink their color.
Chromogens are highly pigmented and can easily stick to the enamel on teeth.
Acidic drinks like coffee, tea, and soda can also contribute to teeth staining, eroding the enamel and making it more susceptible to staining. Additionally, drinks high in tannins, such as red wine, can cause teeth staining.Recommended Reading: How Hydroxyapatite Toothpaste Remarkably Reverses Cavities and Whiten Teeth
- Drink Matcha with a Straw: A straw reduces the contact between matcha and your teeth, lowering the risk of stains.
- Rinse with Water Post-Matcha: Swishing water in your mouth after drinking matcha washes away residue, helping to prevent stains.
- Brush Teeth After Matcha: Brushing post-matcha consumption removes residues and aids in stain prevention.
- Eat Teeth-Strengthening Foods: Consuming calcium-rich foods like cheese and yogurt strengthens teeth and helps guard against staining.
Other Ways to Enjoy Matcha Without Worrying About Teeth Stains
If you’re still concerned about matcha staining your teeth, other ways exist to enjoy matcha without compromising your smile.
- Incorporate Matcha in Cooking: Use matcha in recipes like pancakes, muffins, or smoothies to enjoy its benefits without direct contact with teeth.
- Try Other Antioxidant-Rich Teas: Green and white teas are great alternatives with similar health benefits and antioxidant content as matcha.
- Mix Matcha with Oral Health-Friendly Ingredients: Combine matcha with coconut oil for its antimicrobial properties or xylitol to prevent tooth decay, reducing the risk of teeth staining.
Potential Risks & Side Effects of Matcha
While matcha is generally considered safe when consumed in moderation, there are some potential risks and side effects to be aware of.
- Caffeine Content in Matcha: Matcha contains caffeine, which might lead to jitters, insomnia, or other side effects for some. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, limit your intake and avoid matcha later in the day.
- Lead Contamination Risk: Some matcha products may have high lead levels. Opt for high-quality matcha from trusted sources to reduce this risk.
- Potential Medication Interactions: Matcha can interact with certain medications, like blood thinners and chemotherapy drugs. Consult your healthcare provider before adding matcha to your diet if you’re on medication.
- “Effect of Japanese green tea on color changes of hydroxyapatite ceramic after immersion in black tea.” This study, published in the Journal of Dental Sciences, found that matcha caused less staining of hydroxyapatite ceramic than black tea.
- “Effect of green tea on volatile sulfur compounds in mouth air.” This study, published in the Journal of Breath Research, found that green tea reduced levels of volatile sulfur compounds in mouth air, which can contribute to bad breath and oral health issues.
- “The effect of green tea on oral malodor: a systematic review.” This systematic review, published in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene, found that green tea may help reduce oral malodor, which can be caused by bacterial growth in the mouth.
- A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that the catechins in green tea (including matcha) may help prevent plaque formation and dental caries (cavities). The study also found that green tea may have a bactericidal effect against Streptococcus mutans, contributing to dental caries.
- A review article published in the Journal of Oral Biosciences found that green tea may have anti-inflammatory effects in the oral cavity, which could help prevent or reduce the severity of gum disease. The review article also noted that green tea might have antibacterial effects against oral pathogens.
- According to the American Dental Association, enamel erosion (which can lead to teeth staining) is a common dental problem caused by acidic foods and drinks. While matcha is slightly acidic, it is less acidic than many other drinks, including orange juice and sports drinks.
- A study published in the journal BMC Oral Health found that a mouthwash containing green tea extract significantly reduced plaque and gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) compared to a placebo mouthwash. The study suggests that green tea extract may be a useful adjunct to oral hygiene practices for preventing or managing oral health problems.
While matcha may cause teeth staining, research suggests it also offers some benefits for maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
Overall, these studies suggest that green tea (including matcha) may offer several potential benefits for oral health, including reducing the risk of plaque and dental caries, fighting harmful bacteria in the mouth, reducing inflammation in the gums, and potentially preventing teeth staining.
It’s important to remember that maintaining good oral hygiene practices (such as brushing and flossing regularly) is still essential for keeping your teeth and gums healthy.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
If your teeth are permanently stained, you may want to consider professional teeth whitening treatments. Your dentist can offer several options, including in-office treatments and take-home kits that use custom-fitted trays and professional-strength whitening gels.
Several ways to whiten your smile include professional teeth whitening treatments, over-the-counter whitening products, and home remedies like oil pulling and baking soda. However, it’s important to be cautious with DIY whitening methods and talk to your dentist before trying new treatments.
If you have badly stained teeth, you may want to consider professional teeth whitening treatments. However, several at-home whitening options are also available, such as over-the-counter whitening products and home remedies like oil pulling and baking soda. Keep in mind that at-home whitening methods may not be as effective as professional treatments and may also carry some risks.
The best tooth stain remover will depend on the type and severity of your tooth stains and your personal preferences and budget. Professional teeth whitening treatments are generally considered the most effective, but over-the-counter whitening products and home remedies may also be effective for mild to moderate stains. It’s important to talk to your dentist before trying new whitening products or methods to ensure they are safe and effective for your teeth.
My Experience & Expertise
As a dentist, I am often asked about the effects of different foods and drinks on oral health, including the potential for teeth staining.
Research suggests that matcha may be less likely to cause teeth staining than other drinks like coffee and red wine. In fact, some studies suggest that the antioxidants in matcha may help prevent tooth stains by reducing inflammation and fighting harmful bacteria in the mouth.
That being said, it is still possible for matcha to cause teeth staining, especially if it is consumed frequently or in large quantities.
If you are concerned about matcha staining your teeth, there are several steps you can take to minimize the risk of staining, such as drinking matcha with a straw, rinsing your mouth with water after drinking matcha, and brushing your teeth after drinking matcha.
Need a second opinion? We can help! Learn more. Knowledge is power when cultivating healthy dental habits. The more informed you are, the better positioned you’ll be to prevent avoidable and potentially costly dental procedures for you and your family. Watch for future blog posts, where we’ll continue sharing important information, product reviews and practical advice!
- Nunes A. Characterization of kafirin and zein oligomers by preparative sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. J Agric Food Chem. 2005
- Millhouse, E. Development of an in vitroperiodontal biofilm model for assessing antimicrobial and host modulatory effects of bioactive molecules. BMC Oral Health 14, 80 (2014).
About the Author
Dr. Matthew Hannan, also known as “Dr. Advocate,” is a board-certified dentist on a mission to provide accurate dental patient education. He attended Baylor University before completing dental school at UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry. He now lives in Arizona with his beautiful wife and 4 kids. Dr. Hannan believes everyone should access easy-to-read dental resources with relevant, up-to-date dental research and insight to improve their oral health.
Connect with Dr. Hannan!
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