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Dental caries such as streptococcus mutans and s.sobrinus, breed in mouth, secrete an enzyme called Gurukoshirutransferaze., which generates unsoluble polysaccharides, which adhere to the surface of teeth, creating dental plaque. Inside the dental plaque, dental caries generate lactic acid, which desolves calcium from enamel on the surface of teeth and develops further dental caries. It is reported that tea leaves contain aroma components such as catechins and Neroridoole, and polyphenol compounds. Also catechins, oolong tea polyphenol, black tea Teafurabin are components that prevents the activity of Gurukoshirutransferaze. Green tea polyphenol is reported to control adhesion of dental caries mutants. Extract of green tea and black tea prevents activities of saliva and dental caries mutans, and controls discomposition of starch into maltose, which prevents generation of carbohydrate that can be activated by dental caries mutants. Therefore, tea leaf polyphenolo has effect on dental caries by controlling the various process of forming dental caries. The components are shown on figure 1. Tea leaves contain flourine, which exists in drinking tea. Flourine promotes adhesion of CaF2 materials on enamel surface, which is effective on strengthening the surface of teeth. The effect on dental caries is proved by animal models and humans. For example, polyphenol in oolong tea and green tea controls the formation of cavities of rats. There is a report that elementary school students with cavities decreased as they drink green tea with lunch. The effect is already utilized in products such as chewing gum and sweets.

(Kyouji Yoshino)