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Does Ginger Tea Stain Teeth?

People have been drinking ginger tea for thousands of years. Used as a digestive aid, it can also help reduce nausea, soothe sore throats, and reduce inflammation. Ginger is also a popular ingredient in cooking and baking, especially around the holidays, thanks to its spicy, warming and aromatic taste.

Ginger tea is also caffeine-free. This makes it ideal for drinking in the late evening. Like chamomile, it’s a great way to relax before bed. But should we be worried about drinking it regularly, does ginger tea stain teeth?

Some teas do.

Some teas contain tannins. These are chemical compounds that can cause the discolouration of tooth enamel. Black teas tend to be high in tannins.  Others, like peppermint tea, don’t cause any staining and can benefit the mouth by freshening the breath.

Plain ginger tea doesn’t stain teeth enamel.  Plain ginger tea is made either by slicing or grating ginger pieces or when the box of teabags clearly says that it’s just ginger tea. The problem is that sometimes ginger is added to fruit teas and some fruit teas do stain teeth. 

Ginger and lemon tea, for example.  Lemon is acidic and will eat away at tooth enamel which makes it easier for discolouration to start. According to one study by King’s College London, fruit teas are liable to erode tooth enamel. For example, citric acid – the type found in lemon teas – erodes the enamel, making it easier for other foods to stain teeth.  Ginger, therefore, is guilty by association.

So whilst ginger tea doesn’t stain teeth, it’s important to remember that other ingredients can.  Ginger pairs nicely with lemon and other fruit-based teas, so be careful if you’re drinking them too regularly.

And as we mentioned in the introduction, it isn’t just fruit teas that can be problematic. Black teas are high in tannins. You’re also more susceptible to stained teeth if you drink a lot of coffee and red wine, too, which is a shame because that’s just about all the best things in life!

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