With all the information out there about how coffee’s acidity and dark color stains our teeth and can even harm tooth enamel, it’s a relief to hear a little good news about this habit– a habit indulged in by over two thirds of Americans.
Coffee could lower the risk of periodontal disease
Researchers at Boston University’s Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine conducted a study by compiling data on a group of over 1,100 adult males, aged 26 through 84. The researchers used probing depth, amount of bleeding, and radiographic images of alveolar bone loss to assess the gum health of each participant. The corresponding coffee consumption was assessed by self-reports. Variables like smoking, diet, overall health and alcohol consumption were also taken into consideration.
The results revealed a small but statistically significant correlation between coffee consumption and gum health. In general, the researchers concluded overall that there were no negative impacts on periodontal health by coffee that were found in the study, with evidence that the beverage may in fact have benefits for gums.
Consistency with other studies, but caution indicated
These findings are consistent with an earlier study which found black coffee to have antimicrobial properties, thus contributing to oral health via bacterial control. However, that study applied to black coffee alone– the common additives of milk, cream, and sweeteners reverse these beneficial effects.
And in fact, most of us do prefer our coffee with a little– or a lot– of cream and other extras. This is why our team at the office Gregory A. Williams, DMD, advises to indulge in coffee within limits– for instance, don’t sip all day! And practice brushing and flossing afterward to minimize staining.
More questions about coffee?
We’re always interested in hearing what scientists are learning about diet, drinks, and dentition– and we know that sometimes all the news on these sources can be a little overwhelming, even conflicting! Because of this, Tigard Oregon dentist Dr. Williams is always here to be your resource in dental health. Bring all your questions or concerns to your next visit— we’re excited to see you.