Though coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, it can harm your health if you are not careful. It serves as a staple in a majority of American adults’ routines. But consuming a great deal of coffee may negatively impact your oral health over time.
However, if you pay attention to your teeth, gums, and oral habits, you do not have to give up your favorite beverage to keep your smile healthy. Read on to learn about three threats that coffee can pose to the look and feel of your smile.
How Does Coffee Hurt My Teeth?
Pay Attention to Tooth Discoloration
Coffee gets its dark color from substances called tannins. These can transfer and absorb into the enamel of your teeth over time. They will leave deep stains on the surface of your teeth that cannot be removed with your typical oral hygiene routine.
Some people may choose a lighter brew, add milk to their beverage, or sip through a straw to lower the chances of staining their teeth when drinking coffee. But these efforts will not get rid of the risk entirely.
Dentists suggest limiting the amount of coffee their patients drink regularly to protect their tooth color. If you do notice yellowing, dullness, or stains on your smile, ask your dentist about teeth whitening options.
Beware of Sugar Harming Tooth Structure
Coffee has a naturally bitter taste, so many coffee enthusiasts add sugar or syrups to their drink to enhance its flavor. Though a sweeter taste may be pleasurable, sugar is notoriously unhealthy for your teeth.
Sugar reacts with saliva to become acidic. It can then erode the enamel of your teeth, heightening your risk for cavities and other dental dangers.
While your dentist can treat cavities with dental fillings, you should ideally preserve the natural structure of your teeth and avoid costly reparative dental work. Therefore, you should avoid added sugar wherever possible, including in your coffee.
Fight Dry Mouth Problems
Many people enjoy the caffeine boost that comes with drinking a cup of coffee. But caffeine can dehydrate you, which can lead to several health concerns.
Low levels of hydration can decrease saliva production, leaving you with dry mouth. It is an unpleasant sensation that also poses a risk to your oral health.
This environment allows bacteria to spread with greater ease across your teeth, increasing your risk of oral infections like gum disease. Gum disease requires intervention from your dentist to eradicate and will cause irreversible dental damage without prompt treatment.
You can prevent gum disease and protect your smile by staying hydrated. This means drinking plenty of water. Dentists and health experts agree that you should drink eight eight-ounce glasses of water each day to maintain adequate hydration. You should have more than this to compensate for caffeine intake if you plan to drink coffee too. This foresight can keep your smile both looking and feeling its best.