Is coffee really bad for your teeth? Well, yes and no. Studies show we consume an average of 3 cups of any variety of coffee a day in the United States. That’s about 150 million Americans wondering if they’re compromising their teeth with every sip.
The con’s of coffee are the usual suspects, staining, coffee breath, etc. You know those stubborn brown stains that accumulate on the inside of a coffee mug? Those give you some idea of how coffee drinking can stain your teeth over time. Coffee stains appear to be even more persistent than tobacco stains, in fact. According to one study that compared the two types of stain, coffee-stained teeth were more resistant to toothbrushing and more likely to become discolored again following a bleach treatment.
In addition to being unsightly, teeth with heavy coffee stains tend to be sticky and apt to attract food particles and bacteria
- Acids in coffee directly attack your tooth enamel. This leaves teeth vulnerable to cavities, as well as cracked and broken teeth.
- Acids and bad bacteria feed off of each other. Bacteria left in your mouth love to feed off of the acids found in coffee. They multiply rapidly and become responsible for cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.
- Coffee stains teeth. While this is no surprise, coffee is the leading contributor to stained or yellow teeth.
But what are the pro’s of coffee? A Boston University study found that chugging that daily cup of joe may have you spewing sour coffee breath, but it also might pack some sweet rewards, too. Research suggests that drinking coffee can help protect your teeth from periodontal disease, the inflammation of your gums and jawbone.
After studying more than 1,000 men for up to 30 years, the researchers found that those who drank one or more cups of coffee each day had fewer teeth with bone loss–the hallmark of periodontal disease which can lead to loosening and ultimately loss of your teeth. The researchers also found no evidence that even moderate or heavy coffee drinking was associated with any other markers of periodontal damage, such as bleeding of the gums or development of bacteria-collecting pockets around the teeth.
So, coffee will still stain your teeth but you don’t have to worry about it leading to any dental demise. Plus, it’s less acidic than many other common beverages, like fruit juices, sodas, and energy drinks. According to a study in the British Journal of Nutrition, all of those drinks–but not coffee–were shown to weaken teeth’s protective enamel.
For more information call Dr. Gerald Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442. Visit our website for special offers, updates and to make an appointment, www.gmdental.com.
Accepting patients from Riverside, Norco, Ontario, Murrieta, Fontana and surrounding communities.