a date? Then you might want to replace that cup of java from your
favorite truckstop with a cup of tea.
to researchers Christine Wu and Min Zhu of the University of Illinois
at Chicago College of Dentistry, some of the chemicals in that cup
of tea can help cut bad breath by stopping the bacteria that cause
a statement on the study, university officials said typical bad
breath is caused by “foul-smelling volatile sulfur compounds, like
hydrogen sulfide, produced by anaerobic bacteria that thrive in
environments lacking oxygen, such as the back of the tongue and
deep gum pockets.”
are chemical components called polyphenols, which the researchers
said could prevent both the growth of bacteria that creates bad
breath and prevent the bacteria's production of smelly compounds.
while many truckers drink coffee exclusively, Jeanie Kilgore, assistant
manager at the Iron Skillet restaurant at the Oak Grove, MO, Petro
truckstop says tea is on the over-the-road menu as well.
sell a lot more coffee than the tea,” she said. “The biggest seller
is coffee, but the tea is right behind it.”
outsells tea about two to one, she added. The Iron Skillet sells
only regular black tea.
to Wu’s research, the breath-freshening effect comes mainly from
two groups of compounds in both black and green teas. Green tea
has a group of polyphenols called catechins, while black tea contains
both catechins and theaflavins.
research by Wu indicated rinsing with black tea helps cut plaque
formation, bacteria in dental plaque and acids that cause tooth
for whether the drink is making a noticeable difference for the
truckers stopping at the local Petro, Kilgore said she didn’t know.
don’t get that close,” she said with a chuckle.
Mark H. Reddig, associate editor
Reddig can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.