Great news for coffee lovers! There have been many benefits documented about consuming coffee, like protecting the liver, boosting metabolism, and reducing the risks of several chronic health conditions, like cancer, heart disease and diabetes, and now we can add benefits to oral health. According to a recent article from Dentistry Today, a recent study has found that coffee may help prevent bone loss in the jaw. Additionally, green coffee has antibacterial properties that may help protect the gums. Score!
“Coffee in moderation has many nutritional benefits,” said Nasir Bashirelahi, PhD, professor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. “Five cups a day should be the limit. It is a stimulant, so be sure to stop drinking it early enough so it doesn’t interfere with sleep. For most people, because coffee may help prolong life, the benefits outweigh the risks, such as tooth staining.”
When coffee settles into the tiny holes and ridges in enamel, teeth staining can occur. Staining can also happen in the resins used in restorations. The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) recommends rinsing with water after drinking coffee to reduce the risk of staining. Furthermore, coffee can be consumed with a straw to reduce the amount that touches the teeth. It is important to note that acidic drinks, like coffee, can soften enamel, which means brushing teeth right away can damage it and the dentin underneath. Enamel will start to harden again about a half hour after being exposed to acids, so the AGD recommends waiting at least that long to brush. The same holds true for other acidic beverages like wine, lemonade and citrus juices.
Some of the benefits of coffee are a result of the roasting process. With high chlorogenic acid content, the roasted beans have antioxidant properties. It has the ability to reduce the bad bacteria in the oral microbiome as well as prevent cancer, thanks to its polyphenols. I didn’t really need another reason to keep drinking my morning cup(s) o’ joe, but with all of these benefits, I feel even better about it. I’ll drink to that!