Coffee is an incredibly popular beverage with approximately half of American adults drinking it regularly. However, despite its prominence, coffee can contribute to major problems with your teeth.
You do not have to avoid your favorite beverage to protect your smile as long as you take proper precautions. Dr. Matthew Gerald, a dentist in Vienna, VA, describes three oral health issues you could be at risk for if you drink coffee.
Keep an Eye Out for Stains
Coffee gets its dark color from tannins, which can absorb into tooth enamel and transfer their color to the surface of your teeth. These stains cannot be removed with typical teeth brushing or flossing.
While adding milk to your beverage or sipping through a straw may lower the chances of tooth discoloration when drinking coffee, it will not eliminate the risk entirely. If you experience yellowing or staining in your smile, ask your dentist about professional teeth whitening treatment.
Beware of Sugar-Induced Enamel Erosion
Because coffee has a naturally bitter flavor, many coffee drinkers add sugar or syrup to their beverages to enhance the taste. Added sugar can negatively impact your oral health. This is because sugar interacts with your mouth’s natural bacteria to become acidic and erode tooth enamel.
Thinned or weakened enamel leaves your teeth vulnerable to severe damage, such as tooth decay. Dentists recommend avoiding added sugar wherever possible, including in your coffee cup.
Drink Water to Avoid Dehydration
Many coffee enthusiasts appreciate the caffeine boost that comes with drinking a cup of coffee. But caffeine tends to dehydrate you, which can be harmful to your health, including your teeth and gums.
Low hydration levels decrease saliva production, creating an environment where bacteria can spread easily across your teeth. This increases your risk of bacteria infecting your gums and forming periodontal disease.
Gum disease can lead to serious dental harm, so dentists recommend preventing this issue when possible. This includes drinking plenty of water to avoid dehydrating effects of caffeine from coffee.
Learn More from Your Dentist in Vienna, VA
Dr. Gerald is an expert dentist offering professional tooth whitening and other cosmetic dental treatments to patients in Vienna, VA. Our practice also specializes in restorative and general dentistry for patients of all ages. To schedule an appointment with us, contact our office online or reach our team by phone at 703.721.4796.