How Coffee Affects Oral Health
The majority of Americans depend on some amount of coffee each day to wake up and go about their days. Sound familiar? If you’re in a steady relationship with your daily cup (or two, or three…) of joe, have you ever considered the ways in which your coffee habit affects your dental health? Don’t worry – we have some good news for you!
There are multiple research studies that show very promising results for coffee drinkers. These studies show that drinking coffee may actually reduce harmful bacteria in your mouth, which positively impacts dental health. Evidence also shows that antioxidants in coffee may help prevent cavities and dental disease. Keep in mind these study results apply to black coffee and not sweetened coffee.
If you take your coffee with cream or sugar, or both, remember that sugar consumption allows harmful bacteria to grow within your mouth. If you can’t live without your additives or hate the taste of black coffee, make sure to practice proper dental hygiene to prevent future cavities or dental issues. You can also try consuming your coffee during a specified time of the day, so your teeth aren’t exposed to sugar for extended periods of time.
There is some concern that drinking a lot of coffee can cause erosion of the enamel of your teeth, although it’s not as acidic as beverages like fruit juice. In addition, if you suffer from bruxism, evaluate the effects of your caffeine consumption and reduce it accordingly if it seems to be causing you to grind or clench your teeth.
Coffee can stain your teeth over time, especially if you drink it frequently. The enamel in your teeth is porous and it can absorb what it’s exposed to, which means it can become yellow or brown if you drink a lot of coffee and don’t counteract the staining effects. Drinking through a straw when possible can limit the potential of staining your teeth. Consider drinking or swishing with water after you drink coffee to remove it from the surface of your teeth. You can also use a whitening toothpaste at home and schedule a visit with your dentist to see if you’re a candidate for a whitening treatment.
As always, moderation is key. Enjoy your coffee but think about ways you can protect your teeth while doing so. Come see us at Chauvin Dental for your regular dental checkups and if you have any questions about how to counteract any of the effects coffee drinking has on your teeth.