Valleydale Dental

Coffee May Actually Be Beneficial for Your Teeth

Young woman drinking coffee in urban cafeFor years, we’ve all known that coffee is bad for our teeth.

But according to a recent report from Boston University, that may not be entirely true. That report shows that coffee may actually be good for your teeth because it prevents gum disease.

The study was led by Boston University’s Henry M. Goldman at the School of Dental Medicine. Goldman and his team of researchers showed that drinking coffee on a regular basis “did not have a negative impact on periodontal health.”

Furthermore, drinking coffee on a regular basis had a “minimal impact” on the number of teeth affected by bone loss.

The study tracked 1,100 adult males between the ages 26 and 84. Additionally, 98% of the subjects were white and factors like alcohol consumption, smoking, body mass index, overall health and overall oral health were all considered. It was the first study to examine the link between drinking coffee and periodontal health.

Goldman’s report was published in the August issue of the Journal of Periodontology.

Coffee still stains our teeth

Of course, you can’t expect to drink a pot of coffee every day and create two rows of beautiful, pearly-white teeth. That’s (unfortunately) not going to happen.

That’s because coffee still stains the surface of your teeth. Most intensely colored foods and beverages stain our teeth, and coffee is no exception.

Coffee also has two additional properties that increase its stain-creating power:

-It’s mildly acidic

-It’s rich in chromogens

These two properties combine to make coffee a major culprit when it comes to teeth staining. The acid erodes the enamel on your teeth, making it easier for chromogens to latch on. Ultimately, that gives our teeth an unpleasant, yellowed appearance.

…But coffee is not as bad as tea

Some people switch to tea from coffee because they perceive it to be a healthier option. That may be true in some ways, but it’s not true when it comes to your teeth.

Tea is filled with stain-promoting tannins (similar to the tannins found in wine). An average black tea is significantly worse than coffee when it comes to staining your teeth and it attacks the surface of your teeth aggressively.

Looking for a tea that doesn’t stain quite as badly? Try herbal, green, or white teas – all of which stain less aggressively than black tea.

Tea, of course, may not come with the gum disease-fighting benefits of coffee. Dentists haven’t performed that study yet.

Long story short? Coffee may stain your teeth but it also fights gum disease and has little impact on your overall periodontal health. So if you’ve been looking for an excuse to drink more coffee, then here it is! Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a quick and painless teeth cleaning, contact Birmingham AL dentist Dr. Gentry Gonzalez and his great team today!