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A Coffee a Day

A Coffee a Day

Will a coffee a day keep the dentist away?

coffeeCupRecent studies from Boston University and Brazil’s Federal University suggest that drinking coffee daily may actually decrease bone loss around teeth and prevent them from developing decay. The Boston study showed that men who drank one or more cups of coffee per day had significantly less bone loss over a 30 year period when compared to those who drank less coffee. In Brazil, researchers discovered that coffee actively broke down dental plaque and biofilm.
Traditionally, we have thought that the acidity in coffee could alter the pH balance of the mouth and potentially erode tooth enamel. However, recent studies indicate that polyphneol antioxidants found in coffee may actually make teeth and supporting bone stronger. Compounds in coffee seem to reduce damage from the inflammation that contribute to decay and gum disease.

In the Boston study, researchers ruled out the impact of other factors that influence gum disease and discovered that coffee was the commonality in patients with healthier gums and supporting bone. In the study, patients who drank an average of two cups of coffee per day saw the greatest benefit, and had fewer teeth with moderate to severe bone loss.

When researchers in Brazil exposed extracted baby teeth to a solution of coffee bean extract, bacterial plaque on the teeth was broken down. Without dental plaque, cavities are much less likely to form.

Of course, both studies point out that if you add cream and sugar to your coffee, the positive dental effects are going to be overridden by the amount of sugar consumed. Researchers also warn against too much coffee, which can adversely affect your health.

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