Antibacterial, antiadherence, antiprotease, and anti-inflammatory activities of various tea extracts: potential benefits for periodontal diseases

J Med Food. 2013 May;16(5):428-36. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2012.0207. Epub 2013 Apr 30.


Porphyromonas gingivalis is a key etiologic agent of chronic periodontitis. This Gram-negative anaerobic bacterium produces several virulence factors and can induce a host inflammatory response that contributes to periodontal disease. In the present study, we investigated green tea, white tea, oolong tea, and black tea extracts with a high polyphenol content for their effects on (i) the growth and adherence of P. gingivalis, (ii) the activity of host and bacterial proteases, and (iii) cytokine secretion by oral epithelial cells. All the tea extracts inhibited the growth of P. gingivalis (minimal inhibitory concentrations ranging from 200 to 500 μg/mL; minimal bactericidal concentrations=500 μg/mL). In addition, they dose dependently reduced the adherence of P. gingivalis to oral epithelial cells. Tea extracts also inhibited the catalytic activity of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9, neutrophil elastase, and P. gingivalis collagenase. Lastly, the tea extracts dose dependently inhibited the secretion of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, and chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 5 (CCL-5) by P. gingivalis-stimulated oral epithelial cells. No marked differences in the various effects were observed among the four tea extracts. Extracts from green tea, white tea, oolong tea, and black tea show promise for controlling periodontal disease by their capacity to interfere with P. gingivalis growth and virulence properties, host destructive enzymes, and inflammatory mediator secretion. Such extracts may be incorporated to oral hygiene products or locally delivered into diseased periodontal sites.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / analysis
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / analysis
  • Bacterial Adhesion / drug effects*
  • Bacterial Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Camellia sinensis / chemistry*
  • Cell Line
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Peptide Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Periodontal Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Periodontal Diseases / enzymology
  • Periodontal Diseases / metabolism
  • Periodontal Diseases / microbiology
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage*
  • Plant Extracts / analysis
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / drug effects*
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / enzymology
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / genetics
  • Porphyromonas gingivalis / physiology
  • Protease Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Protease Inhibitors / analysis


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Cytokines
  • Plant Extracts
  • Protease Inhibitors
  • Peptide Hydrolases