Kombucha is a fermented sweet tea, either green or black, that has gained notable popularity in recent years as a health drink. This drink is said to contain probiotics and antioxidants that can boost the overall health of the body.
People who drink it on a regular basis often do so in order to kill bacteria, reduce the risk of heart disease, manage diabetes, and protect themselves from cancer. Opinions on the effectiveness of this beverage vary, but there are some concerns about the effects of kombucha on dental health.
How Can Kombucha Affect Teeth?
Like any tea, kombucha contains acid. This acid can lower the overall pH in your mouth, making it easier for bacteria to flourish. The acid can also have negative effects on your tooth enamel, a substance your body cannot rebuild once it is gone.
Given that kombucha is a sweet tea, there is also a sizable sugar content. Bathing your teeth in sugar is another condition that helps bacteria flourish in your mouth.
Between the acid and sugar content of kombucha, there are serious concerns about how this beverage can lead to oral health problems. The unique blend of ingredients in kombucha makes it an ideal beverage for the bacteria in your mouth. When bacteria take over your mouth, you experience gum disease, dental decay, and other oral health conditions.
Beverages with dark pigments— tea, coffee, red wine— can stain your teeth. This discoloration can often be corrected, but it is best to use moderation with these drinks to prevent discoloration in the first place.
What If I Cannot Give Up Kombucha?
The general reason that some dentists recommend not partaking of this beverage is preventing oral health problems. If giving up kombucha is just not an option for some reason, then there are ways that you might be able to reduce some of the effects of kombucha on your teeth.
Reduce Sugar Intake
Choose kombucha drinks that are lower in sugar. This may help you reduce the amount of sugar that you are taking in on a daily basis. Less sugar in your mouth is less sugar for bacteria to feed on between brushes.
Consume Kombucha in One Sitting
Rather than sipping on kombucha throughout the day— which brings fresh waves of the beverage to your oral tissues— consume your kombucha in a single sitting. This reduces the time that your teeth spend bathing in this drink.
Use a Straw
Using a straw to drink kombucha gives your drink a more direct path to the esophagus. This can help the kombucha bypass some of the teeth, especially those in front where stains are noticeable.
Rinse After Drinking
After you are finished enjoying your kombucha, consider rinsing your mouth out with water. This can help reduce the acid and sugar that lingers after you finish drinking. You could also choose to brush if you want to thoroughly clean acid and sugar from your tooth surfaces.
Whatever you choose to do with regards to your diet, you should weigh the potential benefits against any risks— especially when it comes to your teeth. Be sure to talk to your dentist and doctor about how drinks like these can impact your health.