Approximately half of all American adults drink coffee every day. Coffee is a staple in the routine of many people. Served hot, iced, or frozen, coffee is one of the most popular beverages, but less commonly known is that it can have a negative effect on your oral health if you are not careful.
But if you pay attention to the look and feel of your smile and follow advice from your Washington, DC dental expert, you can protect your oral health without giving up your favorite beverage. Read on to learn about three dental issues that can occur from coffee consumption as well as how to prevent them.
Coffee’s Impact on Your Oral Health
Beware of Stains on Your Teeth
Coffee’s dark color comes from substances called tannins. When you drink coffee, these tannins will absorb into your tooth enamel and leave dark stains on the surface of your teeth. Deep tooth discoloration cannot be removed with your usual oral hygiene regimen.
You can lower your risk of dental stains by sipping coffee through a straw or choosing a lighter-colored brew. But these efforts will not eliminate the chances entirely. Pay attention to the color of your smile and talk to your dentist if you notice staining or yellowing affecting your teeth. Your dentist can suggest teeth whitening treatments to restore and enhance your tooth color after this type of aesthetic damage.
Avoid Consuming Excess Sugar
Coffee has a naturally bitter taste, so many coffee fans add sugar to their beverages to enhance their flavor. While they may enjoy the sweetness, sugar notoriously poses a risk to your dental health.
Sugar reacts with the saliva in your mouth to become acidic. This acid can then erode your tooth enamel, leaving your smile vulnerable to plaque and bacteria. You could put your smile in danger of tooth decay if you consume a great deal of sugar.
For this reason, dentists ask their patients to reduce the amount of sugar in their diet. Steer clear of added sugar wherever possible, including in your coffee, to preserve your dental structure.
Drink Water Too to Prevent Dehydration
One of the aspects of coffee that people find most appealing is the jolt of caffeine that comes from drinking a cup. This energy boost can help you get through your busy day, but caffeine can also dehydrate you. Dehydration can lead to several health issues, including for your smile.
You may produce less salvia if you are dehydrated, leading to dry mouth. The dry oral environment will allow bacteria to spread with ease across your teeth. You can have a higher risk of infections like gum disease this way.
Gum disease will need dental treatment to eradicate and can cause irreversible damage to your teeth, gums, and jaw. Protect your smile from this risk by drinking plenty of water along with caffeinated beverages like coffee. Dentists and medical experts agree that you should have eight eight-ounce glasses of water a day to maintain adequate hydration.