Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the United States, with about half of all American adults enjoying this drink regularly. Whether cozying with a warm mug or grabbing an iced drink on the go, coffee is a staple in many individuals’ routines.
Coffee can be notoriously bad for your oral health for a number of reasons. Dr. David Rever, a dentist in Silver Spring, MD, describes how you can continue drinking coffee while taking care of your teeth.
Beware of Teeth Staining
The dark color of coffee comes from tannins, which can absorb into tooth enamel and leave stains behind. This discoloration cannot be removed with teeth brushing or oral hygiene practices.
Choosing a lighter-colored brew or adding milk to your beverage can lower the chance of teeth discoloration when drinking coffee, but it does not eliminate the risk. Dentists recommend enjoying coffee in moderation to preserve your ideal tooth color. If you notice yellowing, staining, or discoloration in your teeth, you can talk to your dentist about professional teeth whitening treatment.
Skip Added Sugar
Coffee has a naturally bitter taste, so many individuals add sugar to enhance the flavor of the beverage. Sugar is known to be bad for your teeth because it reacts with bacteria in your mouth to become acidic.
The acid eats away at tooth enamel, which can cause major dental concerns like tooth decay. Once enamel is gone, it cannot regrow on its own.
Weakened or thinned enamel can leave you with painful symptoms like tooth sensitivity as the underlying layer of dentin becomes exposed. To protect the strength of your teeth, you should avoid added sugar wherever possible, including in coffee.
Many coffee drinkers appreciate the boost of caffeine that comes with a cup of coffee. Caffeine can dehydrate you, which can negatively impact your health throughout your body, including in your mouth.
Low hydration levels can give you dry mouth, which allows bacteria to spread more freely through your mouth. This increases the risk of oral infection such as gum disease.
If left untreated, periodontal issues can cause major dental damage like tooth loss. You should drink water along with coffee to make sure you stay hydrated and avoid this oral health risk.