Can Coffee Harm My Smile?

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world. Half of American adults consider this drink to be a staple in their daily routine. Despite its cultural significance, many people might not realize that coffee could harm your smile if you are not careful.

But you do not have to give up your favorite drink in order to make sure your teeth look and feel their best. Talk to your dentist about effective preventative dental care. And read on to learn about three dangers that coffee could pose for your oral health as well as how to counteract these risks to your smile.

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3 Dental Risks from Coffee

Tooth Discoloration

Coffee’s dark color comes from naturally-occurring substances called tannins. As you consume coffee, the tannins will transfer to your teeth and absorb into the enamel, leaving dark stains behind. You cannot remove this dental discoloration with your usual oral hygiene routine.

You can make efforts to reduce your risk of forming stains on your teeth from coffee by sipping the drink through a straw, adding milk to your beverage, or choosing a lighter-colored brew. But these will not get rid of the chances entirely.

Pay attention to your tooth color if you consume coffee regularly to make sure you do not negatively impact the look of your smile. If you do see stains, yellowing, or other discoloration in your smile, ask your dentist about teeth whitening treatment options available at their office.

Tooth Decay

Coffee has a naturally bitter taste, so many people will put sugar in their beverage to enhance its flavor. Though they may enjoy the sweet taste, sugar is notoriously harmful to your teeth.

When sugar reacts with saliva, it becomes acidic and begins to eat away at your dental structure. This weakens the teeth, making them more vulnerable to cavities. Though a dentist can treat this early form of tooth decay with relative ease, you should preserve the natural structure of your smile as much as you can.

This means steering clear of added sugar wherever possible, including in your coffee cup. If you want to alter the taste of your coffee, consider sugar-free options.

Gum Disease

One of the appeals of regular coffee consumption is the caffeine boost that comes with drinking a cup of joe. The extra energy helps many people power through their busy schedules. But caffeine can also make you dehydrated.

Low hydration levels will make you produce less saliva, leaving you with dry mouth. This uncomfortable sensation also puts your oral health in danger. It allows the natural bacteria in your mouth to spread more easily, increasing your risk for oral infections like gum disease.

Oral infections will require intervention from a dentist to eradicate and can cause major damage to your smile that might not be reversible. Protect your teeth and gums by avoiding dry mouth then. And you can fight dry mouth by staying hydrated. If you consume dehydrating agents like coffee, drink plenty of water to compensate, and therefore, preserve your smile.