Coffee and Your Smile

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While that cup of coffee certainly helps you to smile more easily in the mornings, what is it actually doing to your teeth and gums? Avid coffee drinkers are probably well aware of its staining properties. However, beyond aesthetics, coffee may not be all that bad for your smile. In fact, research studies report that caffeinated coffee offers many oral health benefits, including less plaque and bacteria as well as the potential to fight oral cancer.

Coffee May Help Fight Bacteria

A study by the Federal University in Rio de Janeiro found that the robusta coffee bean (grown in Vietnam and Brazil) helped to remove bacteria on the teeth as well as inhibit the accumulation of plaque. The study exposed the robusta coffee bean to a sample of saliva bacteria and donated fragments of baby teeth. The coffee bean caused the bacteria cells to burst, which consequently lowers the risk of plaque accumulation on the teeth. With less plaque and bacteria, there is less risk for tooth decay and gum disease, which are two primary oral health concerns that patients face today.

Coffee May Help Fight Oral Cancer

The American Cancer Society conducted a study in 2012. Using multiple participants, they found that polyphenols in caffeinated coffee helped to protect against the development or progression of oral cancer. Statistics showed that the consumption of more than four cups of caffeinated coffee per day was linked to a 49% lower risk of oral/pharyngeal cancer death.

Coffee Still Carries Threats to Your Smile

Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages worldwide. However, it can still pose some threats to your smile aesthetics and oral health if it is consumed the wrong way. To avoid tooth staining, sip your coffee through a straw or rinse with water immediately after consumption. In addition, if you load up your cup of joe with heaps of sugar and milk, you may be overpowering the previously mentioned oral health benefits. Extra sugars and carbohydrates from the milk can erode your tooth enamel and promote bacteria growth. Try heavy whipping cream and sugar-free sweeteners to avoid this threat.

At Basin Dentistry, we love educating patients on the latest news in dentistry. There are countless dental care tips that can be applied to your every day life – including your morning coffee habit. If coffee has already stained your smile, consider professional teeth whitening to regain your pearly whites!

Posted on behalf of Basin Dentistry