Green tea is a leading beverage in the Far East for thousands of years; it is regarded for a long time as a health product. Green tea is important source of polyphenol antioxidants. Polyphenols including epigallocatechin 3 gallate (EGCG) constitute the most interesting components in green tea leaves. Green tea has the potential to protect against various malignant, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. There is a growing body of evidence pointing a beneficial role of green tea and its polyphenols in oral health. Green tea protects against bacterial induced dental caries. Tea polyphenols possess antiviral properties, believed to help in protection from influenza virus. Additionally, green tea polyphenols can abolish halitosis through modification of odorant sulphur components. Oral cavity oxidative stress and inflammation, consequent to cigarette smoking and cigarettes' deleterious compounds nicotine and acrolein, may be reduced in the presence of green tea polyphenols. Generally, green tea defends healthy cells from malignant transformation and locally has the ability to induce apoptosis in oral cancer cells. All together, there is an increasing interest in the health benefits of green tea in the field of oral health. Nonetheless, there is still a need for more clinical and biological studies to support guidelines for green tea intake as part of prevention and treatment of specific oral pathologies.
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