First Dental Health (And Then Coffee)

Coffee. Coffee is very important to 83 percent of the US adult population, and despite some of its downfalls, coffee picks us up when we’re down and makes for uber productive workdays! The question is, can you continue to drink coffee and still have healthy teeth? Are additional check-ups to the dentist at Glendale Heights required? Find out more about the impact that coffee has on your oral health.

The impacts of coffee on dental health

It’s true, coffee may impact your dental health. On a purely aesthetic level, coffee contains a type of polyphenol called tannins (also a component in wine). In the presence of water, tannins break down and cause the color compounds to stick to your teeth. When the compounds adhere to your enamel, they cause a yellow discoloration to your teeth. So yes, drinking coffee causes staining. Would you give up coffee in the name of a pearly white smile? Not so fast, it only takes a cup of coffee per day to cause stains, so really, it’s not worth the headache — literally!

Coffee could also contribute to cavities and gum disease. This fact doesn’t take into account people who drink black coffee, it’s for those who add sugar and flavored creamers. It also includes flavored lattes and blended coffee beverages. Everyone knows the harmful effects of sugar on the body, but it starts in the mouth. When sugar is consumed, the bad bacteria produce an acid byproduct that cause wear and tear to the tooth’s enamel, eventually breaking it down and causing cavities. So,the more sugar you consume, the more you put your dental health at risk.

Drinks with a high pH level (ahem coffee) can cause enamel erosion. Damaging the enamel is concerning, because it doesn’t contain living cells, and therefore cannot grow back. Generally when people drink coffee, it’s a sip here or there, throughout their day and not all in one sitting. Because you’re drinking it all day, the acid onslaught is continuous and doesn’t give your teeth a break. Overtime, the enamel is worn down, and you become much more susceptible to cavities.

Is it all bad?

The great news is new research has been published stating coffee may have a protective effect on periodontal disease. The study found a small statistical significance and it was only reported in men.

In another study, drinking strong, black coffee could be keeping your teeth clean and free from plaque. It stated that the high caffeine contents found in coffee actually destroys harmful bacteria that causes dental plaque.

Lessen the impact of coffee on dental health

If you’ve decided to continue to drink your cup of joe despite the effects it may have on your teeth, you can lessen the impact it has.

If you sip on coffee throughout the day, drink water alongside with it. The water helps flush the acid and bad bacteria down, preventing it from sticking.

If you drink sugary coffee drinks, again rinsing your mouth with water afterwards is good practice or wait a half an hour after consumption and brush your teeth.

Leave a reply