Green Tea for Wisdom Tooth Surgery?

August 30, 2013

A green tea mouthwash might reduce post-operative pain and painkiller use.

Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties make green tea (Camellia sinensis) an appealing ingredient for addressing health conditions, including oral ones. Iranian researchers now speculate that green tea may be a natural ingredient for wisdom tooth pain relief.

Researchers from Tehran University assessed the impact of a green tea mouthwash on 43 subjects undergoing wisdom teeth surgery. Each subject completed two separate surgeries-one with a green tea mouthwash and the other with a placebo mouthwash (water). Both interventions were flavored with mint to retain mystery. Each application was used for seven days after surgery.

Subjects quantified their pain at baseline and throughout the rinsing periods with a visual analog scale. They were also required to record their daily use of painkillers. Pain scores were similar immediately after surgery, but statistically lower with green tea use by days 3 and 7. Green tea use also correlated with less use of painkillers-most of which were used during the first two days after surgery.

If green tea can significantly reduce postoperative pain, this widely available ingredient may be preferred over antibiotics and medicines such as chlorhexidine, which have side effects ranging from bacterial resistance to taste changes and oral discoloration.

The green tea mouthwash was composed of 5 g of green tea powder mixed, 100 ml of distilled water, and mint flavor.