Can Coffee Harm My Oral Health?

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world. Though millions of Americans consider it a staple to their daily routine, they might not know that coffee could pose a risk to their oral health.

But you do not have to give up your favorite drink in order to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Talk to your dentist about preventative dentistry plans. And read on to find advice from your dentist in Charleston, SC that will keep your smile looking and feeling its best as you enjoy coffee.

prevent oral health problems in Charleston South Carolina

How to Protect Your Smile When Drinking Coffee

Look Out for Tooth Discoloration

Coffee gets its dark color from naturally occurring substances called tannins. But tannins will absorb into the tooth enamel as you consume coffee, leaving dark stains behind on the surface of the teeth. You cannot remove this deep discoloration from your smile with your usual oral hygiene routine.

Sipping through a straw or choosing a lighter-colored brew will reduce the chances of dental discoloration. But these efforts will not eliminate this risk entirely.

This is why dentists will recommend that you limit the amount of coffee you drink to preserve your tooth color. They will also ask you to pay attention to your smile. If you notice yellowing or staining in your smile, ask your dentist about teeth-whitening treatment options.

Steer Clear of Added Sugar

Coffee has a naturally bitter flavor on its own. So many coffee drinkers will add a spoonful or two of sugar to their beverages to enhance their taste. Though the sweetness is appealing, sugar has notoriously harmful effects on your teeth.

When sugar interacts with the saliva, it becomes acidic. This acid can erode the enamel of your teeth, making your smile vulnerable to cavities and other dental dangers.

Though your dentist can treat cavities with dental fillings, ideally, you should protect your natural dental structure as much as possible. Avoid added sugar wherever you can, including in your regular cup of coffee.

Drink Water Too

One of the appeals of a cup of coffee is the energy boost from caffeine. This can power you through your busy schedule. But caffeine can also dehydrate you, causing many health concerns, including for your smile.

Dehydration will make you produce less saliva, leading to an uncomfortable condition called dry mouth. The dry environment will allow the natural bacteria in your mouth to spread with ease across your teeth.

This can heighten your risk of contracting oral infections like gum disease. Gum disease often presents with inflammation in the gums. But as it advances, it can cause severe dental damage and even tooth loss.

You will need treatment from a dentist to get rid of this infection. So many dentists promote preventative care when it comes to periodontal health. Avoid gum disease by staying hydrated. Drink plenty of water to counteract the potential dehydration that accompanies consuming coffee.