Coffee Can Actually Protect Your Teeth
Another Reason to Love Coffee: It Actually Protects Your Teeth!
Coffee may be many things. A delicious beverage, a legal stimulant, your reason to get up in the morning. But even though you love your brew, you may have been thinking it was bad for you, especially when it comes to your mouth. Worry no more, latte lovers, because according to a recent study from Boston University, not only does coffee not adversely affect your teeth and gums, it may actually help protect them from periodontal disease.
Researchers looked at the effect coffee on the overall oral health of over a thousand men. They found that the men who drank at least one cuppa joe a day actually had a lower instance of periodontal disease, the inflammation of gums and jawbones. Not only that, the coffee drinkers’ teeth were actually stronger, showing less bone loss and instances of bleeding gums, which, even when factoring out other risks like alcohol, smoking or brushing too hard, researchers attributed to coffee.
And get this, according to the study’s author, Raul Garcia, D.M.D., “Men who drank more than six cups per day had, on average, significantly fewer teeth with moderate to severe bone loss than those who drank less than six.” Course, that doesn’t take into account what that much java will do to other parts of your body (irritability, sleeping issues, increased risk of early death.) So even though according to the study, more than six was optimal for your teeth, experts suggest drinking no more than three cups a day for your overall health.
So how is something that in large quantities can be bad for your body be good for your gums? Coffee contains antioxidants. Antioxidants act as anti-inflammatories. “They could be muting the body’s own inflammatory processes that normally would be harmful to the gums and the jawbone supporting the teeth,” says Garcia.
Does that mean you should ditch your brush and start gargling with coffee in the morning? Ummm, no. Coffee is not a substitute for toothpaste. But you can now enjoy that first or second cup knowing that although coffee might stain your teeth and give you a serious case of coffee breath, you’re actually strengthening your teeth and gums with every sip.