Compounds found in tea can stop the growth of bacteria that cause bad breath, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Polyphenols, chemical components of tea, prevent both the growth of bacteria responsible for bad breath and the bacteria’s production of malodorous compounds, the UIC researchers found. The findings were presented today at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in Washington, D.C. by Christine Wu, professor of periodontics and associate dean for research at the UIC College of Dentistry, and research associate Min Zhu.
Bad breath -- or halitosis -- afflicts a large portion of the population. It 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.
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