We’ve come to love matcha for its extraordinary health benefits, unforgettable taste, and vibrant green color. But does matcha stain your teeth?
Despite the presence of chlorophyll and tannins, matcha seems to be less likely to cause teeth stains than drinks like coffee, black tea, and red wine.
Drinking matcha is great for your oral health. In fact, research shows that matcha “promotes periodontal health by reducing inflammation, preventing bone resorption and limiting the growth of certain bacteria associated with periodontal diseases.”
Dr. Henry Hackney, a Doctor of Dental Medicine and ADA member at Authority Dental, explains that “matcha contains catechins which prevent your teeth from staining.” This is good news for all our matcha tea enthusiasts out there.
To keep matcha’s tannins and other pigments from discoloring your pearly whites, brush twice per day to keep dental plaque from solidifying into tartar. You can enjoy your matcha, have a healthy mouth, and have stain-free teeth.
We’ve searched far and wide to compile this in-depth handbook about matcha and teeth staining. Let’s dive into what dental experts and scientists have to say.
What is Matcha?
Matcha is a type of green tea made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant that have been grown in the shade and then finely ground. Also called “jade leaf tea,” matcha and its extraordinary health benefits have been employed in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years.
Unlike traditional tea leaves, every part of matcha is consumed. This allows you to benefit from the rich concentration of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids it contains, hence the unique, earthy taste, vibrant green color, and very high nutritional value.
Matcha contains all the beneficial compounds found in regular green tea, but in higher doses. Our ceremonial grade matcha is the healthiest matcha powder that comes straight from Japan. It's been carefully cultivated and produced for hundreds of years. Hand-picked tea leaves and a meticulous stone-grinding process preserve the delicate flavors and vibrant green color, ensuring an authentic and traditional matcha experience.
For the ultimate powerhouse adaptogenic drink, we combine our matcha tea powder with cordyceps. The combination of the best ceremonial matcha and organic cordyceps mushrooms makes our matcha mushroom tea the ultimate powerhouse of zen and vitality.
Can Matcha Really Stain Your Teeth?
Drinking matcha tea can do a lot for your dental health: from preventing oral cancer and gum disease to getting rid of bad breath and cavities. However, matcha contains several colored molecules that can cause plaque discoloration.
Drinking tea or coffee stains or discolors the dental plaque, but not the teeth itself. If the plaque is not completely brushed and flossed away within 24 h, it begins to harden and becomes what is commonly known as tartar. (Chatterjee, et. al.)
So there you have it. Matcha doesn’t stain teeth, but it might have the potential to stain tooth plaque. If you don’t brush that plaque off, it becomes semi-permanent, meaning that its stains become part of the appearance of your teeth.
A matcha enthusiast on Quora swears that matcha hasn’t stained her teeth and has prevented plaque build-up.
Just brush your teeth twice a day (and maybe floss a bit more than twice a year), and you can have all the oral health benefits of matcha without the stains.
Do Matcha’s Tannins Stain Teeth?
Tannins are a group of flavonoids that belong to a larger group of compounds called polyphenols. They are found in matcha, regular green tea, black tea, and coffee. Their specific qualities influence the taste, color, and acidity of these beverages. When it comes to tooth staining, compared to other drinks like coffee, black tea, and red wine, the tannins found in matcha are of a lighter, less staining kind.
Interestingly, the tannins can help maintain our teeth’s healthy pH levels by acting as a natural astringent. Research shows that matcha’s tannins can help regulate oral pH levels, which helps maintain a balanced alkaline environment in the mouth. This alkalinity is beneficial as it may inhibit the growth of bad bacteria and acid production that contribute to tooth decay and enamel erosion.
The way matcha tea is produced and prepared affects its tannin concentration. Longer steeping times and higher water temperatures produce higher concentrations of tannins. More tannins in your tea mean an overpowering bitter taste and a greater chance of staining. Tannins can lead to mild plaque discoloration over time. They attach to proteins on the surface of tooth enamel. This can form complex molecules, which can cause teeth stains by staining the plaque.
Good oral hygiene and brushing and flossing your teeth regularly should prevent tannins from causing tooth discoloration.
Green Chlorophyll in Matcha
Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in plants and algae. Its main role is to aid photosynthesis: it absorbs sunlight and helps the plant turn it into energy. Matcha contains a high concentration of chlorophyll, which gives it its glorious green color.
Chlorophyll has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It stimulates the production of saliva, which helps protect your teeth. It may give matcha its color, but chlorophyll doesn’t necessarily give your teeth a tainted look.
Evidence shows that the green pigment has no substantial staining effect on teeth. Chlorophyll can increase the visibility of stains caused by other substances, like tannins. If your teeth have already been discolored, the presence of chlorophyll in matcha may only enhance it.
While chlorophyll is not a major cause of tooth staining, the degree of staining depends on several factors:
- Your personal oral hygiene habits. Brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings can help prevent and decrease tooth discoloration.
- The frequency of consumption. Drinking 1–2 cups of matcha a day is unlikely to discolor your teeth.
- The quality of matcha: the higher the quality of your matcha powder, the less likely it is to cause discoloration of your teeth.
A Quora user and fellow matcha connoisseur is spot on when he says that your teeth may be more susceptible to regular green tea staining than staining by matcha.
Benefits of Matcha on Oral Health
We’ll let you in on a secret: dentists LOVE matcha. This fragrant adaptogen reduces bacteria in your mouth, prevents tooth decay, and fights gingivitis.
Let’s take a look at all the reasons why matcha is the ultimate oral health powerhouse.
Matcha’s Catechins for Healthy Teeth
Catechins belong to the group of flavonoids, a type of antioxidant known for their extraordinary health benefits. One particular catechin, called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), has been found to inhibit the growth of cavity-causing bacteria. EGCG can prevent cavity formation and periodontal diseases. Because of catechin’s potent antibacterial properties that prevent plaque, a cup of matcha after a meal can be a natural liquid floss.
Catechins also have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce gum inflammation and maintain healthy gums, making matcha an effective ally in daily oral hygiene. EGCG also prevents gum disease and improves overall gum health.
Green tea catechins… inhibit production of toxic end metabolites of P. gingivalis. A study showed that green tea catechin, EGCG and ECg inhibit the activity of P. gingivalis-derived collagenase. (Chatterjee, et. al.)
Sakanaka and Okada further investigated the effects of matcha’s catechins on periodontal disease (periodontitis or gum disease). They discovered that matcha green tea has an inhibitory effect on the production of toxic end metabolites by Porphyromonas gingivalis. P. gingivalis is a bacteria in the human oral cavity responsible for periodontitis. Their study showed “that continuous application of tea polyphenols on a daily basis can be considered as a useful and practical method for the prevention of periodontal diseases.”
A cup of matcha after a meal may slow the growth of germs that cause periodontal disease and halitosis (bad breath).
Matcha Eliminates Bad Breath
We’ve all been victims of bad breath (halitosis). Matcha's natural antibacterial properties can help combat bad breath by reducing the population of bacteria in the mouth that contribute to unpleasant odors.
If you are an avid coffee gulper, you may have developed a very stinky dry mouth. Just like matcha, coffee contains caffeine and tannins, two compounds that cause halitosis and dry mouth, also known as xerostomia. These molecules stop the natural production of saliva, and once your mouth is dehydrated, the funky-smelling bacteria can thrive.
Matcha also contains caffeine and tannins, but unlike coffee, matcha has a plethora of other beneficial compounds that counteract the stinky, dry mouth effects of caffeine and tannins. Once again, catechins are here to save the day—or at least your breath.
Halitosis is caused by oral microbes like hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and methyl mercaptan (CH3SH). Oral microbes form in our mouths as a result of protein degradation. High in polyphenolic catechins, matcha tea seems to decrease H2S and CH3SH in the mouth.
Since tea polyphenols have been shown to have antimicrobial and deodorant effects, we have investigated whether green tea powder reduces [volatile sulfur compounds] in mouth air, and compared its effectiveness with that of other foods which are claimed to control halitosis. Immediately after administering the products, green tea showed the largest reduction in concentration of both H(2)S and CH(3)SH gasses, especially CH(3)SH which also demonstrated a better correlation with odor strength than H(2)S. (Lodhia, et. al.)
The high antioxidants and unique variety of compounds found in matcha help support the breakdown of sulfur compounds and reduce the production of sulfur compounds that breed bad breath.
Matcha Strengthens Tooth Enamel
Matcha has an alkalizing effect on the oral environment. It helps maintain a balanced pH level, strengthening tooth enamel and reducing the risk of acidic conditions that can harm teeth and gums.
Matcha can help strengthen and enhance the texture of damaged teeth. A 2012 study found that matcha significantly increases the hardness of teeth eroded by carbonated drinks. This means that, when treated with matcha, the eroded teeth became stronger and more resistant. The study showed that “green tea (Camellia sinensis) increased the microhardness of eroded dentin and improved the eroded texture.”
Matcha also has a protective effect on enamel, especially when consumed at colder temperatures.
We demonstrated that high temperature affects enamel composition likely inducing erosion; but more importantly, green tea can lessen this damage. The protection offered by tea is enhanced at cold temperature. (Manno, et. al.)
Matcha Against Oral Thrush
Have you ever noticed those creamy-white lesions on your tongue? That might be oral thrush. Oral thrush, also known as oral candidiasis, commonly affects patients with weakened immune systems. While it is normal to have some candida in your mouth, when it overgrows, it can cause unpleasant symptoms like:
- White lesions
- Taste deterioration
- A cottony sensation in your mouth
- Irritation and redness
- Cracking and redness around the corners of your mouth
There is limited research on the direct effects of matcha on oral thrush. However, matcha contains certain chemicals that may help treat oral thrush symptoms and enhance your natural immune system. Matcha seems to be able to reduce the number of oral Candida albicans (candida yeast) more effectively than other mouthwash agents.
The use of green tea as an endodontic irrigant can be helpful, since it is a biocompatible antioxidant and lacks the serious risks associated with the use of sodium hypochlorite. (Mollashahi, et. al.)
Catechins, and particularly EGCG, can inhibit the growth of candida yeast. Matcha’s antioxidant action supports immune function and controls fungal infections.
Matcha Fights Oral Cancer
Many adaptogens have antitumor properties because of their high content of antioxidants. Matcha’s catechins suppress cancer stem cells and block their mitochondrial metabolism, reducing their activity. Research shows that they may also alter vital signaling pathways involved in the growth and spread of cancer cells.
On top of eliminating bad breath and maintaining healthy teeth and gums, matcha has been linked to the potential prevention of oral cancer. According to the University of Pennsylvania, “a compound found in green tea may trigger a cycle that kills oral cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone… The research could lead to treatments for oral cancer, as well as other types of cancer.”
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania compared healthy oral cells to cancer cells to understand how green tea’s EGCG affected them. They treated lab-grown cells with EGCG at levels similar to those found in saliva after chewing green tea gum. Because green tea matcha is high in antioxidants, the results showed a decrease in the number of damaging free radicals that cause oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a huge trigger for cancer, as it damages our cells and DNA.
A meta-analysis of 14 case-control studies suggested that “increased tea consumption was associated with a decreased risk of oral cancer.” Other research supports the evidence that green tea extract might be able to prevent oral cancer and other types of cancer.
The polyphenols found abundantly in green tea have been shown to inhibit a variety of processes associated with cancer cell growth, survival as well as metastasis. Several studies have shown benefits of green tea pertaining to its antiviral, antiinflammatory, and antiallergic effects. (Ramshankar, et. al.)
Speaking of powerful anti-cancer adaptogens, did you know that Cordyceps militaris may aid in the fight against cancer? There’s evidence that cordyceps can boost immunity, inhibit tumor growth, and even cause cancer cell apoptosis (self-destruction). This makes each packet of our mushroom matcha tea even more beneficial. The health benefits of matcha meet the extraordinary therapeutic effects of cordyceps mushrooms. The result? A well-rounded cup of wellness.
(Don’t worry: cordyceps mushrooms are completely safe to consume and won’t turn you into a flesh-eating zombie.)
Matcha vs Coffee: Which Stains Your Teeth More?
Matcha is much better for your teeth than coffee. Both matcha and coffee contain compounds that can contribute to stains, such as tannins and pigments. However, matcha seems to stain teeth less than coffee, while providing a number of oral benefits that coffee does not.
Matcha is often consumed in a more diluted form compared to coffee. Both coffee and matcha contain tannins and pigments, albeit in different concentrations, but matcha is also packed-full of antioxidants and other compounds that counterbalance the staining effects of coloring pigments.
We’re not saying coffee is bad for your teeth or that you should completely ditch it. As you can see, matcha seems to be a less “stainy” and healthier choice for your teeth and gums. If you brush your teeth regularly (which you really should, regardless of your drink of choice), you should be able to prevent plaque and tartar buildup.
How Do You Drink Matcha Without Staining Your Teeth?
Whether we like it or not, matcha has some potential to stain our teeth via staining plaque. If you’re susceptible to plaque build-up and your brushing game is weak, there are ways you could lower the risk of staining the plaque on your teeth.
One way to avoid matcha staining your teeth is to consume it with a dairy product. Matcha lattes have become insanely popular, and you can even opt for plant-based milk to cut back on fat. But whisk your matcha tea with regular tea, and don’t worry about fat percentage, as matcha itself is one heck of a weight watcher.
AQuora user offers more easy ways to avoid matcha staining your tooth plaque.
Here are some more tips for minimizing tooth stains and keeping your smile wide and glossy when you drink matcha.
- Use a straw. Mr. Kapecki was onto something when he said that straws can help minimize contact between the matcha and your teeth, thus reducing the risk of staining.
- Rinse your mouth with water after drinking matcha, if you prefer not to dilute the superb matcha taste with milk. Water helps flush any residual tannins and reduce plaque buildup.
- Brush your teeth after drinking matcha.
- Eat foods that promote oral health. Foods high in calcium can help strengthen teeth and prevent staining.
- Use matcha in cooking and baking. Matcha lattes, matcha smoothies, matcha cookies. The possibilities are endless.
Our organic ceremonial matcha powder is best consumed as a beverage. You can prepare your morning matcha drink with our electric whisk or make it the traditional way, using a bamboo whisk and our ceramic matcha bowl. With each method you choose, you get the best quality cordyceps and matcha in every sip.
Read more about the benefits of cordyceps mushrooms, so you can better understand the health potential our 30-serving mushroom matcha tea has.
Health Benefits of Matcha
Matcha is a nutrient-dense beverage with many health benefits. To reap its benefits, use it in moderation and include no more than three cups of matcha in your everyday routine.
Here are a few of the benefits of drinking matcha regularly.
- Matcha may improve brain function. Caffeine and the amino acid L-theanine work together to improve cognitive performance and increase alertness.
- Matcha promotes relaxation and reduces stress. The L-theanine in matcha has been shown to promote peace and reduce stress without causing drowsiness. The synergy of L-theanine and caffeine in matcha boosts energy and reduces the jitteriness normally associated with caffeine.
- The L-theanine in matcha has a calming effect on the mind, promoting a sense of relaxation. It can help improve mood and overall mental well-being.
- You know how sometimes your brain muddles and you can’t remember someone’s name or what that thing’s called? Matcha’s L-theanine is also great for reducing brain fog.
- This unique combination of caffeine and L-theanine in matcha provides a calm and focused energy boost. That’s why many athletes choose matcha to help them enhance their exercise performance and boost stamina.
Drinking too much matcha can cause some mild side effects, but they typically go away within a few hours. The recommended daily dose of matcha powder is between 2 and 4 grams. That’s a half to one full teaspoon of matcha. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, go even lower than that. Remember that matcha is a rich source of caffeine, and excessive amounts can lead to heart palpitations and feelings of restlessness and nausea.
How can matcha help prevent tooth staining?
Japanese matcha contains compounds that can help prevent staining on teeth. Regular consumption of matcha can inhibit the staining effects of tea, coffee, and other foods and drinks on teeth.
Catechins can inhibit the growth of mouth bacteria and reduce plaque formation. Matcha stains your teeth indirectly by causing discoloration on the plaque. Less plaque, less possibility of stains. Matcha is also rich in chlorophyll. Chlorophyll can help neutralize acids in the mouth and prevent the formation of stains.
Incorporating matcha into your dental hygiene practices can effectively prevent tooth staining. Brush your teeth regularly with a manual or electric toothbrush, use dental floss or water flossers, and pay your dentist more regular visits.
How can I prevent staining on dental implants or after dental procedures?
To prevent staining on dental implants or after dental procedures, it is important to maintain good dental hygiene practices. This means regular brushing with whitening toothpaste and using recommended dental products.
Can matcha harm sensitive teeth?
Matcha is generally safe for individuals with sensitive teeth. Unlike some acidic beverages, matcha has a neutral pH, which minimizes the risk of enamel erosion and tooth sensitivity.
As individual sensitivity levels may vary, you may want to start with small amounts of matcha and see how your teeth and gums feel. To minimize any potential discomfort, use soft-bristled toothbrushes or whitening toothbrushes and toothpastes for sensitive teeth to maintain good oral health and prevent staining.
Are charcoal toothpastes healthy?
Charcoal toothpastes have gained popularity for their potential whitening effects, but their long-term safety and efficacy are still being investigated. Some people find charcoal toothpaste effective in removing surface stains.
Charcoal is an abrasive material that may wear down tooth enamel if used excessively or with aggressive brushing. Consult with your dentist before using charcoal toothpaste to get personalized recommendations and guidance.
Which teas don't stain teeth?
White tea, yerba mate, and rooibos are excellent darker tea substitutes that will not stain your teeth. White tea comes from the same plant as green tea, but it is less processed. White tea may also help reduce cavities and gum disease.
Individual factors such as oral hygiene and the frequency of tea consumption can also influence staining.
Should you brush your teeth after matcha?
After drinking matcha, wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. This allows your saliva to neutralize the acidity and reduce the potential risk of enamel erosion.
Does matcha turn your teeth yellow?
Matcha itself does not turn your teeth yellow. If you drink matcha regularly and don’t properly clean your teeth (which you really should, regardless of matcha), your teeth may become stained over time.
Can you drink matcha when whitening teeth?
Matcha is generally considered to be safe for consumption after teeth whitening. Some people still avoid consuming matcha or other foods and drinks that may cause stains immediately after teeth whitening, just to be safe. Following the procedure, the whitening agents need to settle and maximize the effectiveness of the treatment, and as a preventive measure, many dentists recommend not consuming anything that might counteract that.
How do you remove matcha stains from clothes?
Matcha stains are somewhat difficult to remove—but not impossible! Here are some ways you could try to remove matcha stains from clothes:
- Directly apply white vinegar to the moist stain. (Make sure it's white vinegar, because brown malt vinegar can stain your clothes much more.) Allow it to sit for 30 minutes to dissolve the discoloration before rinsing again. Put the clothes in the washer with laundry detergent to get rid of the vinegar scent.
- Use baking soda. Apply a heavy layer of baking soda immediately to the stain while it’s still wet. Any residual tea will be absorbed by the powder, drawing the color out of the garment and into the powder. Let it dry overnight before washing out and throw it in the wash in the morning.
- Use liquid detergent to hand-wash your stained item. Fill the sink with warm water and add a small amount of detergent. Make sure the detergent is dissolved before throwing in your stained item. Scrub the fabric against itself to agitate the stain. Rinse and repeat the process. (Remember, fill your sink with warm, not cold water.) Wring out your item as much as possible, then lay it flat or hang it to dry according to the washing label.
- Club soda may work similarly to white vinegar. The main difference in cleaning is that you should blot out as much liquid as possible before applying a small amount of club soda to the stain. Allow it to stay for about 30 minutes before rinsing the item, and the stain should be gone.
A Reddit user suggests another ingenious way of treating matcha stains:
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