How Drinking Coffee Can Potentially Prevent Cavities

Coffee and Tooth Models on Yellow Background

Coffee lovers rejoice cause coffee may just be great for your oral health. Coffee, often due to the tannins present in this delectable drink, has had many people worry about their teeth’ condition. Still, research into the composition of coffee has given us some more insight into why it may benefit your mouth instead of harm it. Coffee as a standalone drink has been known to cause discoloration and enamel wear down, and while this is true, coffee comes with some positives as well. Here’s what we’ve found out recently about the benefits of drinking coffee.

What’s So Great About Drinking Coffee?

Coffee often gets a bad reputation for harming teeth, not only due to its tannins but due to the heavy amounts of sugar and creamer added to this concoction to sweeten it up and make it easier to drink. While the heavy creams and sugars don’t benefit your teeth, roasting coffee for that wake-up call has more benefits than previously believed. A study from the Journal of Conservative Dentistry studied the effects of roasted coffee and found that coffee has antibacterial agents that protect your teeth from certain bacteria, specifically the Streptococcus mutans bacteria strain commonly seen form of bacteria that causes cavities. When you drink coffee as a standalone drink, you reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth. Coffee can also reduce how bacteria adhere to your teeth, making it a formidable opponent against tooth decay.

This study was conducted by looking at the different degrees of antibacterial properties that coffee provides, and through observing different types of coffee, they found that:

  • Ground Coffee: Ground coffee showed the least effective defense against preventing cavities due to its limited ability to control adhesion to the enamel.

  • Instant Coffee: Instant coffee is more effective at preventing bacterial adhesion and has the best antibacterial properties.

  • Caffeinated vs. Decaffeinated: Both caffeinated and decaffeinated versions don’t have any noticeable effect on the coffee’s ability to prevent tooth decay.

So, not only can coffee give you an excellent energy boost, but it also is a potent opponent against bacteria. Why? Trigonelline is the active substance within coffee that holds all of these antibacterial properties, and it’s also responsible for the aroma and flavor found in coffee. Hence, the more bitter-tasting and aromatic it is, the better it is for your mouth!

How To Drink Coffee and Protect Your Teeth

Drinking coffee has many benefits, but it can also come with some nasty side effects if not considered. Like all things, moderation is key for a healthy smile. Hence, attempting to try coffee as it is may benefit your mouth more than adding creamers and sugars. However, if you cannot give up the sweetness, then be sure to brush and floss your teeth twice a day to avoid discoloration and cavities. Rinsing your mouth out with water will also help keep your teeth healthy and prevent too much acid from sticking to your teeth. When it comes to maintaining your oral health, it’s best to get the most out of your morning cup with good hygiene behind it.

Alireza Movassaghi, D.D.S and Other Dentist Torrance Dental Associates is proud to be the home of Dr. Alireza Movassaghi, a USC School of Dentistry Graduate with 30 years of experience. His mission is to expand access to dental care throughout the Los Angeles area. When not engaged in providing expert dental care for his patients, he's taking in the latest soccer game and enjoying fine cars.
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