Coffee contains magnesium, potassium, and niacin. It is a good source of antioxidants and may play a role in disease prevention, especially in the prevention of Parkinson's disease, diabetes, and liver disease. Coffee drinking also has a number of effects on oral health. Because it is a dark and highly pigmented beverage, coffee can stain your tooth enamel. Here are some other effects coffee may have on your oral health.
Benefits Of Coffee On Oral Health
Drinking coffee can promote gum health. Drinking a couple of cups of coffee a day may help keep the bones that support your teeth healthy. People with bone loss of the oral structures may be more at risk for developing gingivitis and an extensive type of gum disease known as periodontitis. Coffee is thought to protect against both systemic and local inflammation, and because of this, it may inhibit the inflammation that would normally affect the gum tissue and bones that support the teeth.
Coffee also has strong antibacterial properties and it also helps reduce the risk for dental decay, thanks to its high polyphenol content. It may also inhibit plaque formation, which is a risk factor for both cavities and gum disease. Drinking your coffee black instead of adding cream and sugar to it may be more effective in lowering the risk for gum disease. Cream and sugar may promote oral inflammation and bacterial overgrowth in the mouth, which are risk factors for gingivitis and periodontal disease.
While coffee may play a role in gingivitis prevention, some of the most important things you can do to lower your risk for gum disease is to brush and floss your teeth regularly and see your dentist for routine checkups and professional teeth cleanings.
Disadvantages Of Coffee On Oral Health
One of the most striking disadvantages of coffee on oral health is that it can cause acid erosion. Coffee is an acidic beverage that can destroy your dental enamel. Once acid erosion has weakened the enamel, your teeth may become sensitive, discolored, and crack easily. Your dentist can identify acid erosion on your teeth because they may look transparent and take on a rounder shape.
The reason acid erosion makes your teeth look discolored or darker is that once your enamel gets too thin as a result of erosion, the dentin of the tooth becomes more visible. Dentin is naturally yellow in color and is more visible through thin enamel than it is through normal enamel. If your teeth hurt after consuming hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks, see your dentist. He or she will look for signs of enamel erosion and recommend a toothpaste that can help strengthen your tooth enamel.
Your dentist will also remind you to rinse your mouth with water after drinking coffee or orange juice so that the acid doesn't stay on the surface of your teeth for too long. Chewing sugarless gum is another way to remove acid from your teeth. Chewing gum helps enhance salivary flow, which can further help wash away acid.
If you are a habitual coffee drinker, see your dentist more often because if you have acid erosion, you may be more likely to develop infections of the pulp. When your dental enamel becomes thin or eroded, infectious microorganisms can get into the structure of your tooth easier, raising your risk for pulpitis and abscesses.
If you drink coffee, consider the above benefits and disadvantages. Your dentist can provide you with additional information on the effects coffee consumption has on your teeth and gums, which will help you determine if you should continue drinking it as you normally do or decrease your consumption.