Does Coffee Damage Your Teeth?

The world is a fan of coffee. That addicting caffeine fix gets people set up for their day every morning. Although, have you ever wondered about the damage it causes to your teeth? If you’re a morning coffee-lover, you may need to reduce how much you consume! This isn’t a statement people would want to hear, but you need to be aware of the impact coffee has on your oral health.

Drinking cups of coffee every day does produce some general benefits, but for your teeth, it’s a different story. Unfortunately for coffee lovers, it can damage your smile in different ways.

a picture showing discoloured teeth and results after treatment

Discolouration

No matter whether you drink black coffee, coffee that contains preservatives such as sugar or a milky coffee, your teeth will suffer from discolouration and you’ll require a check-up and clean at the dentist. Coffee contains ingredients called tannins, a type of polyphenol that is typically found in tea as well as wine. Tannins are a trigger of colour compounds that stick to your teeth. The compounds remain on the teeth and cause yellow residue to appear, darkening your shade.

Acidic

With a balanced pH value of 7, coffee falls below this at a rate of 4 or 5 pH. This is more towards the acidic side. Any drinks that are at a pH rate of 4 or 5 causes the enamel to weaken and demineralize. Acid feeds cavities, a hole in your tooth. Therefore, the more you consume coffee, the more harmful acids you’re producing inside of the mouth.

Bad Breath

Coffee is strong, and after you’ve drunk it, it can leave a strong odour in the mouth. The caffeine dries out the mouth and reduces the level of saliva production. This can lead to bad breath because there is a lack of saliva to keep your mouth clean from harmful bacteria. It’s not just coffee that constitutes bad breath. There are other foods linked to bad odour as well.

Teeth Clenching

Coffee can also have an impact on your sleeping habits. The caffeine effects can also cause your teeth to clench together. This can become harmful to your teeth because this may also cause you to clench your teeth when you sleep. The jaw muscles become overworked and fatigued. When you wake up, you’re like to experience facial muscle stiffness as a consequence plus wear-and-tear on teeth.

wear and tear on teeth

Coffee – Good or Bad?

From the perspective of oral health, coffee is bad for your teeth. Ultimately, it does depend on the number of units you consume of your caffeine intake on a daily basis. If you consume the odd cup of coffee a week, your mouth is likely to be safe from discolouration and enamel erosion. This doesn’t depend on how strong other aspects of your oral routine is. Should you want to consume coffee regularly, ensure that you’re doing the other parts of your oral routine right, such as brushing with fluoride, flossing, eating a calcium-rich diet and keeping your mouth clean at all times. Read here to learn why calcium is so important.

If you’re concerned about your oral health, contact us at Ashfield Family Dental for an appointment with one of our helpful dentists, who would be delighted to assist you. Book an appointment with us now!

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by Dr Johnson Tang

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