Coffee is equally as famous for perking people up in the morning or at any time of the day as it is notorious for causing ugly stains on the teeth. Also, the stains aren’t the only problem, as coffee can contribute to tooth and enamel erosion, bad breath, and a number of other dental problems.
How Coffee Stains Teeth
The tooth enamel is considered as the hardest and most mineralized substance of the human body. It is also not flat and smooth, containing a huge number of microscopic pits and ridges that can particles from the many food and beverages we eat and consume.
Normally, the saliva is able to clean these microscopic pits and ridges. This, and the fact that most people do brush their teeth regularly, all but ensure that the tooth enamels remains relatively strong and healthy.
Coffee, however, contains an ingredient called tannins that break down in water. You can also find the same ingredients in other beverages such as wine or tea. These tannins can cause color compounds to embed on those microscopic cracks and ridges, which with regular consumption, may cause unwanted, yellow and permanent stains on your teeth.
The Other Dangers of Coffee Consumption
Like any other drink that’s not water, coffee can help promote the increased production of acids in your mouth. This can cause tooth and enamel erosion, which can make your teeth thin and brittle and lead to tooth sensitivity. Also, coffee sticks to the tongue and may cause halitosis or better known as bad breath. Although bad breath may also be caused by the caffeine in your coffee that slows down saliva production and dries out your mouth.
The worst part here is that regular coffee consumption can also put you at a higher risk for gum disease. This is because as the coffee erodes the enamel of your teeth, the bacteria in your mouth have exactly what it needs to build up sticky plaque and irritate your gums.
Good News For Coffee Lovers
While coffee isn’t the healthiest beverage that you can expose your teeth to, it’s not exactly the worst. In fact, it is still possible to drink coffee regularly and maintain a white and healthy smile. Although, this won’t come easy.
For starters, you’ll want to stop putting creamer and sugar in your coffee and start getting used to drinking your coffee black. This may not be how you prefer your coffee, but black coffee isn’t as bad for your teeth. Also, despite still being coffee and the much-bitter taste, science has actually proven that drinking black coffee is the healthiest way to drink coffee and enjoy its many health benefits, including healthier and stronger teeth.
Another thing you can do is to make sure that you drink your coffee in just one sitting and brushing your teeth a few minutes after finishing the mug. By doing so, you help prevent bacteria buildup throughout the day.
Make sure to remember to take care of your teeth and at the same, drink coffee in moderation, and you should still be able to enjoy your favorite cup of joe without having to worry about what it does to your oral health.
If you’re suffering from damaged or discolored teeth due to the effects of coffee, contact Dr. Gerald Middleton, DDS in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442 to schedule a consultation to improve your smile. Or visit www.gmdental.com for information regarding Dr. Gerald Middleton.