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Coffee & Health

Does Coffee Cause Cavities?

Many people start their day with a hot cup of coffee. If you belong to this category of people, have you ever stopped to consider what this habit could actually do to your teeth? While the popular beverage helps you get through the day, you will be delighted to find out that it packs several health benefits along. Black coffee contains a lot of antioxidants which help to fight any damage to cells and protect the body. It also reduces the risk of getting terminal diseases like cancer, stroke, and diabetes. Your coffee can also help you burn fat and speed up weight loss.

woman with teeth cavity issues holding a cup of coffee

But on the flip side as well, several scientific studies have shown over time that coffee could prove harmful to your teeth and affect your oral health in general. Taking just a cup of coffee every day can increase the chances of you having cavities. Coffee also adds to the risk of having bad breath because of its scent, and it increases the number of bacteria in the mouth. In addition, it causes discoloration of the teeth and creates acids that corrode the tooth and enamel.


Can coffee cause cavity?

Coffee itself is very acidic, and taking a lot can cause the erosion of the tooth enamel, which makes the teeth become thin and thereby cause sensitivity issues. Weak enamels can be easily penetrated by bacteria and plaque, which are the main causes of cavities. You can slow down the loss of enamel by using enamel-strengthening toothpaste to brush your teeth twice a day.

The enamel is the hardest layer of the teeth, and it is also the outer and most visible layer. Cavities tend to destroy not only the enamel but the layer underneath, which is the dentin. The dentin is another important part of the teeth. Although it does not have as many minerals as the enamel, it is less brittle too.

While the damage that coffee itself could do to your teeth might be minimal, adding sweeteners such as cream or sugar can increase the risk of you getting cavities. This is why oral professionals advise that if you want to drink coffee, it is better you drink it black without adding sweeteners. They also advise that you do not take more than two cups a day to ensure proper oral health.

One of the ways to reduce the effects of acidic drinks on your teeth is to drink a glass of water or eat a piece of cheese afterward and not brush for at least 15 minutes so that your enamel can have enough time to re-harden.


How to treat cavities

Cavities can be easily seen on the teeth because they usually appear as brown, black or white stains on the surface of the tooth. They also appear as holes or pits on the tooth. You can discover you have cavities when you feel toothaches, tooth sensitivities, and pains when chewing, biting, or drinking hot or cold liquids.

The symptoms are different depending on the extent and where the cavity occurs. At the same time, it is hardly noticed in its early stages. This is why regular check-ups are necessary so that they can be quickly detected and treated.

The treatment of the cavities will be dependent on the extent of the cavity and the condition of the teeth to be treated.

Most tooth cavities can be treated by a simple dental filling procedure. Several materials are used to fill cavities, including gold, porcelain, composite resins, and plastic. The procedure involves removing the decayed portion of the tooth and filling it with the desired material.

For a tooth that has been severely decayed, a dental crown could be used to try and save it. The tooth will be removed, and parts that can be repaired will be worked on. A crown will then be fitted for further protection. The crowns are usually made from porcelain that is fused to metal or gold.

If the tooth has been totally damaged or infected, a root canal treatment is done. It involves cleaning the canals inside the root of the tooth. It is usually done with little or no pain because local anesthesia is used to numb the tooth and the gum during the procedure.


Can coffee stain my teeth?

Coffee also stains teeth because of a compound called tannins that are present in it. This compound can also be found in tea and wine. Tannins are part of the reasons why coffee has such dark brown color and flavor. But these compounds cause discoloration by making color compounds stick to the teeth, and they leave a yellow color behind. The tannins can also stick to the usually colorless plaque, and this eventually leads to brownish stains.

To prevent your coffee drinking from giving your teeth a yellow or brown appearance, you can try drinking your coffee with a straw so that it doesn’t touch the front of your teeth, amongst other methods that will be discussed below.


How to remove stains on my teeth caused by coffee

If you are someone that cannot do without your morning cup of Joe, there is nothing to be worried about as the stains caused by coffee can be removed easily by your local dentist when you go for a biannual appointment. You should schedule a check-up with your dentist at least twice a year to check for tooth decay as well as perform deep cleaning and scraping residues that cannot be removed by simply brushing.

In addition to the professional cleaning that your dentist will offer you, certain home remedies such as brushing your teeth with baking soda two times a month will help to keep your teeth white. You can also use other simpler and non-complicated methods like oil pulling or just simply eating crunchy fruits and vegetables, which help to rub plaque away as you chew.

Adding plenty of milk to your coffee can also help reduce its staining. As a general rule of thumb, the color of your coffee will control how stained your teeth will be. Lightening the color of your drink will help to protect your teeth from the acids that cause the staining.

You can also make the switch to an electric toothbrush today so that you can ensure that your teeth are getting cleaned effectively. Electric toothbrushes make cleaning your teeth easier and remove more stains and plaque than the manual toothbrush. They also come in different types and features that make finding one that matches your oral needs possible.

The best way to ensure your get to keep your teeth white is to limit the amount of time your coffee comes in contact with the teeth. Drink your coffee quickly! While many coffee drinkers like to sit and savor every sip of their morning coffee, it is much advisable to drink the coffee as fast as you can. If it can be done, always drink your coffee with a straw and rinse your mouth with a glass of water immediately after drinking. You can also chew raw fruits or a piece of cheese to rub off the plaque before brushing later on.


Do I have to give up drinking coffee?

A cup of coffee in hand could be the start of a beautiful day, and you do not have to give up your coffee if you ensure that you give your oral health the attention that it requires. But if you are concerned about suffering from cavities or loss of enamel, you should consider reducing the amount of coffee that you take each day and schedule an examination with your local dentist.


The Salient Point

A combination of proper oral care and regular teeth whitening from your dentist will guarantee you continue to have a bright and beautiful smile.


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