Ever since the mid 1600’s, coffee has steadily gained popularity in the United States. This staple breakfast drink has a reputation for staining teeth, but research shows that it might be good for your teeth in other ways. Research suggests that coffee may prevent tooth decay. A new study shows that if you enjoy bold, intense flavor, your brew of choice might lower your risk of tooth decay more than other kinds.
A Look at Past Research
In 2002, researchers published a study that demonstrated some of the first scientific evidence that coffee offers some protection from tooth decay. The study focused on the antiadhesive properties of roasted coffee beans. This property prevents the formation of colonies of Streptococcus mutans, a major bacterium in the formation of dental caries (tooth decay).
The study found that roasted beans significantly inhibited the activity of Streptococcus mutans by up to 90%. Green, unroasted beans did not show as significant of a reduction, leading researchers to conclude that roasting coffee enhances its natural antiadhesive properties. They also noted that caffeine-free brews had the same effectiveness as regular.
Enhanced Bold Flavor
Many brewing companies mix roots and other spices into their coffee to enhance the flavor. One of the most popular ingredients is chicory root, used to create a dark, intense flavor. A recent study published in May 2014 shows that having a taste for bold coffee might be even better for your teeth. Researchers tested the impact of chicory root and coffee on inhibiting the growth of Streptococcus mutans colonies on a glass surface. They tested different coffee and chicory solutions to see if chicory offered any additional benefits for the prevention of dental caries.
The chicory demonstrated an antibacterial property, which reduced the number of established bacterial colonies. The coffee samples reduced the ability for bacteria colonies to adhere to the glass, which also caused a reduction in the number of colonies. These results suggest that combining coffee and chicory creates an antibacterial solution with the added benefit of antiadhesive properties, which keeps surviving bacteria from sticking. Researchers have not tested these results on the surface of teeth, but this study shows promise for future dental care.
Coffee and Yellowing Teeth
Continuous exposure to the staining molecules in coffee, called tannins, causes surface stains to appear over time. You can combat these stains by rinsing your mouth with water after you finish your cup, drinking through a straw, and finishing your beverage quickly to limit exposure. Professional teeth whitening services can remove surface stains that develop in order to give you a bright, attractive smile.
Treat Your Teeth Right
The potential that coffee shows for preventing tooth decay does not mean that you can rely on your daily cup-of-Joe to protect your teeth. Practicing regular oral hygiene such as brushing and flossing at least twice a day is the best way to prevent tooth decay. Scheduling two oral exams per year will also help prevent tooth decay and catch any developing problems before irreversible damage occurs.
For more information about effective teeth whitening and the benefits of preventative dental care, please contact Advanced Dentistry of Mohegan Lake today for an appointment with a Mohegan Lake sleep dentist.