A Two-Sided Debate on Coffee

coffee beansIf you’re an avid coffee drinker, then chances are that you’re familiar with the many warnings that are often spouted about coffee’s damaging effects to your smile. Some reports have even claimed that drinking coffee can increase your risk of certain health conditions, including bad nerves and heart troubles. While over-indulging can most certainly cause more harm than good, more recent studies suggest that drinking a moderate amount of coffee (one or two cups a day) can actually prove beneficial to your health. To help clarify, Encinitas periodontist Dr. Ann Kania discusses both sides of the coffee debate and how the beverage really interacts with your teeth and health.

The Good: Reduced Oral Health Risk

Although experts are not exactly sure how, studies suggest that participants who consistently drank a moderate amount of coffee every day were significantly less likely to develop heart disease or other chronic illnesses. Along with the study, conducted by researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California, other research also suggests that ritual coffee consumption helped increase participants’ defense against oral health issues, including gum disease. According to the authors of the more recent studies, previous reports about coffee’s damaging effects did not take into account other habits commonly practiced by coffee drinkers at the time, including smoking cigarettes and habitual inactivity. 

The Bad: Coffee-Stained Teeth

Even though coffee may prove more beneficial than harmful to your oral and overall health, it does not change the fact that coffee’s severely dark pigment can noticeably  stain. Try sipping your coffee through a straw to minimize contact with your teeth and your risk of tooth-staining. Adding cream or milk can reduce staining. Also, rinse your mouth with water after you’ve finished your cup of coffee to rinse your mouth of the liquid, as well as food debris and plaque. When enjoying most things, moderation is advised.

Treat and Protect Your Oral Health in Encinitas

To learn more about protecting or improving your periodontal health, contact Dr. Kania at our Encinitas periodontal care office by calling (706) 642-0711. We serve patients from Encinitas, San Diego, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Mar, La Costa, and the neighboring communities.