Happy National Coffee Day!
What better way to celebrate National Coffee Day than with some great news about coffee? Recent research has shown that caffeinated coffee offers many benefits for oral health, including less plaque and bacteria in the mouth as well as the potential to stave off serious health risks like oral cancer.
Coffee May Help Prevent Bacteria
A study by the Federal University in Rio de Janeiro found that the robusta coffee bean grown in Vietnam and Brazil helped to eliminate bacteria on the teeth as well as prevent the formation of plaque. Using bacteria from saliva, researchers cultivated plaque on donated fragments of primary teeth. Once the teeth were exposed to an extract of the robusta bean, the bacteria cells appeared to have burst, thereby lowering the risk of excessive plaque accumulation. Less plaque translates to a lower risk for tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health concerns. While this is great news for us avid coffee drinkers, unfortunately, regular coffee consumption can still stain the teeth. (Could this be why teeth whitening is so popular?)
Coffee May Protect against Oral Cancer
A study conducted by the American Cancer Society in 2012 found that polyphenols in coffee may also help protect against the development or progression of oral cancer. This study associated the consumption of more than four cups of caffeinated coffee per day with a 49 percent lower risk of oral/pharyngeal cancer death. While it is less common in the United States, oral/pharyngeal cancer ranks among the top ten cancers in the world. Since coffee is one of the most consumed beverages worldwide, it may give us all one more good reason to enjoy our daily cup of joe.
The Bad News:
Before we all start celebrating, there is just one more caveat to regular coffee consumption besides teeth staining: coffee sweetened with milk or sugar can potentially counter the benefits. Milk contains both sugar and carbohydrates, which erode the enamel and increase bacterial production.
The Good News:
If you can’t get accustomed to the bitterness of black coffee, you can still enjoy the benefits by swapping milk for heavy whipping cream (which contains no carbs and a very low amount of sugar) and by swapping sugar for a sugar-free sweetener like stevia or Truvia®. Any staining that occurs over time can be easily and immediately corrected at Dr. Sands’ office with Zoom!® in-office laser teeth whitening.
If you would like to correct yellow or stained teeth, celebrate National Coffee Day by scheduling an appointment with Dr. Kevin B. Sands. As a cosmetic dentist to the stars, Dr. Sands is a top choice for creating the most beautiful and healthy smiles in Beverly Hills. Please call (310) 273-0111 or fill out our online contact form today.