Did you know that October 1st is International Coffee Day?
Brits love their coffee – around 98 million cups are consumed per day in the UK! Coffee can help us feel energised and for many people, the day can’t start without it.
As with most things, moderation is crucial and the overconsumption of coffee can have some adverse effects on our oral health.
Oral health and coffee consumption – what you need to know
Perhaps one of the most common side effects of too much coffee is ‘coffee breath’. The caffeine can cause your mouth to dry out, meaning there is little saliva production. When this happens, bacteria that is usually washed away can thrive, causing unpleasant odour.
Bacteria in the mouth also love sugar – if you like your coffee sweet, then this could actually heighten your risk of developing bad breath. The same can be said for milk or cream, which provides proteins that bacteria love.
The tannins in coffee can also cause unsightly staining. If you’re noticing that your teeth are starting to look yellow, coffee could be the culprit.
It’s not all bad news
Coffee lovers will be pleased to hear that there are many positive effects that coffee can have on the body. Research shows that chlorogenic acid, which is found in coffee, has antibacterial effects and could slow down the growth of oral bacteria responsible for oral diseases. One study also found that coffee may have a protective role against certain cancers of the mouth and throat.
Knowing how much is too much is not an easy question to answer. However, a study found that between one and five cups a day could be beneficial to health.
Everything in moderation.
As the common saying goes, ‘everything in moderation’. You can enjoy your latte, americano or flat white, but be sure to keep your teeth and gums clean with twice daily brushing and a fluoridated toothpaste.
To avoid the common side effects of coffee, consider: chewing sugar-free gum between drinks, rinsing your mouth out with water, flossing daily and attending regular dental appointments. Also, try to limit the amount of coffee you drink in a day, if you think you’re consuming too much.
Giving up coffee is easier said than done, but thankfully, by following just a few of these tips, you can still enjoy your favourite caffeinated beverage. If you are ever concerned about the impact of your caffeinated habit on your oral health, be sure to speak with the dental team who will provide you will all the relevant guidance.
Dental Health Plan