Posted by Ian
A year or so ago I discovered a peculiar green staining on the back of most of my teeth. It wasn’t particularly visible to anybody else (or so I assumed, seeing as nobody had mentioned it) and the full extent of the discolouring was only evident when I peered inside my mouth with a mirror.
I’d no idea how long the staining had been there. I was shaken by the fact it had spread all over my jaws and I’d only just noticed. Previously, whenever I’d cleaned my teeth, all had seemed fine. But then I’d only been looking at the front, not the back.
Anyway I went to the dentist who referred me to the hygienist who spent a good half hour cleaning everything up. Her diagnosis: tea. Green tea, to be precise. That supposed source of goodness and nourishment. I confessed I drank a lot of it at work. She recommended I stop.
It had never occurred to me that tea could wreak such havoc. Tea: one of the nicest things in the world! The balm of life! I was furious. But I gave it up – green tea, that is, not tea altogether.
I’ve been back to the hygienist twice since then, and much of the staining has gone. In retrospect I’m sure the quality of the green tea I was gulping down every day had something to do with it. It had the consistency of drain water and the colour of bile. But I persisted in the belief it was doing me some good – because I’d read something to that effect. More fool me.
Meanwhile the Guardian is wondering whether brushing your teeth could save your life. It’s probably somewhat more practical than a nice cup of tea.