Protecting Teeth From Hibiscus Tea

Hibiscus tea has been found to be as effective at lowering blood pressure as a leading hypertension drug without the potential side-effects (which include everything from lack of strength to impotence, including rare cases of potentially fatal liver damage). Hibiscus, though, may have adverse effects of its own.

As Iíve reviewed previously in Plant-Based Diets: Oral Health, people who eat plant-based diets appear to have superior periodontal health, including less gum disease and fewer signs of inflammation, like bleeding. However, they also have twice the prevalence of dental erosions, areas on the teeth where the enamel has thinned due to more frequent consumption of acidic fruits and vegetables. Therefore, after we eat something like citrus, we should swish our mouths with water to clear the acid from our teeth.

This includes beverages. Iím a big fan of hibiscus tea, but itís not called ďsour teaĒ for nothing. Researchers at the University of Iowa dental school tested 25 different popular teas and found two with a pH under 3 (as acidic as orange juice or coca cola): Tazoís passion and Bigelowís red raspberry, both of which contain hibiscus as their first ingredient.

To see if the teas could actually dissolve teeth, the researchers took 30 extracted molars from people and soaked them in different teas. And indeed, out of the five teas tested, the greatest erosion came from the tea with the most hibiscus. The researchers left the tooth sitting in the tea for 25 hours straight, but this was to simulate a lifetime of exposure. The bottom line is that herbal teas are potentially erosive, particularly fruity and citrusy teas like hibiscus. To minimize the erosive potential, we can use a straw to drink the beverage. And as I mentioned above, after consuming an acidic food or drink we should also rinse our mouth with water to help neutralize the acid.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you havenít yet, you can subscribe to my free videos†here†and watch my live year-in-review presentations†Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death,†More Than an Apple a Day, and†From Table to Able.

Related
Hibiscus Tea: The Best Beverage?
Blocking Cancer Formation: Green Tea & Garlic
Childhood Tea Drinking May Increase Fluorosis Risk

94 comments

Jeanne R
Jeanne Rogers6 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

SEND
Jeanne R
Jeanne Rogers6 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

SEND
Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

SEND
Anon E.
Cela V3 years ago

tyfs

SEND
Naomi Dreyer
Naomi D3 years ago

Thanks. I never tried hibiscus tea but this is good to know.

SEND
Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran3 years ago

noted

SEND
Jim M.
Jim M3 years ago

love hibiscus tea and many others!

SEND
Jim M.
Jim M3 years ago

we are tea drinkers, but according to dentists, rinsing the mouth after drinking tea, lemon, soda,or what ever other drinks that can cause issues... neutralizes the problem for the most part.

SEND
Melissa DogLover
Melissa DogLover3 years ago

I don't care for tea.

SEND
Hussein Khalil
Hussein Khalil3 years ago

thanks

SEND