Is drinking coffee bad for your teeth

In order to start the day with a boost of energy, most people tend to rely on a cup of coffee. There is something romantic about the brewing of the coffee and holding the cup first thing in the morning.

Now, if you are one of them you may have this question in mind; is drinking coffee bad for your teeth?

Honestly, I am a big fan of coffee and used to drink multiple times in a day to make it through. I know that you also may not be able to survive without a cup of coffee. One day I was going through a published study in Annals of Internal Medicines which said people who drank coffee were twelve percent less likely to die of heart diseases, kidney diseases, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and respiratory diseases.

Good news for coffee lovers then!

However, there are still some concerns that frequent coffee intake can affect your health. One of those concerns happens to be your oral health. Coffee lovers should take a note here: yes, there are few benefits of coffee consumption, but too much intake may not be good for your teeth.

In this article, I will share with you some insides of coffee and how it can affect your teeth. So, if you are scratching your head and wondering is drinking coffee bad for your teeth, you will find all the answers on this page. I suggest you read on and make notes to get the most out of this article.

Is coffee bad for your teeth?

stirring black coffee

Coffee contains many ingredients or chemical compounds and one of them is tannins. These compounds are knowns polyphenol which break down in the water. These naturally occurring compounds are also found in wine, tea, smoked foods, chocolates, and beer.

Coffee in large quantities or frequently can lead to ugly brown stains or yellowing of your teeth. Sometimes it could also be white. This phenomenon is called tooth discoloration.

Now, there are a few simple things you can follow in order to reduce the staining of coffee. This includes rinsing your mouth with water after each intake, visiting your dentist on a regular basis and lastly try to cut down the consumption of coffee if the situation gets too serious.

I know giving up on your favorite drink can be tough and a difficult thing to do but trust me you don't want to roam around with black ugly stains in your teeth and spoiling your smile.

That being said, if you are still unhappy with the color of your teeth even after professional dental care you can discuss options for teeth whitening with your dentist.

Another issue that could result due to excess coffee intake is grinding or clenching of teeth. Coffee contains caffeine that could cause improper sleep, anxiety, and parafunction of jaws and teeth. Oral parafunction can lead to clenching and grinding which can again lead to many problems like jaw pain, cracks in the teeth and headaches.

How does coffee affect your teeth?

Tooth discoloration

Tooth discoloration happens when a brown or black stain appears on the surface of your tooth. It can be an abnormal color, translucency or hue.

Coffee contains a naturally occurring ingredient called tannins which causes color compounds. These color compounds stick in our teeth and leave a yellow hue behind which is very difficult to remove.

Hence, the more coffee you consume the more amount of tannins will build up in your teeth leaving your teeth to look stained or simply ugly.

Enamel Erosion

You may not know but coffee is actually acidic which can definitely cause some degree of damage to your teeth by gradually damaging your enamel. Enamel is an outer covering of your teeth made of up minerals. It acts as a protecting layer of our teeth.

Coffee helps bacteria to create acid inside the mouth which leads to the tooth. Beneath the enamel is the dentin which is yellow in color. When enamel is eroded by the acid it becomes thin and dentine gets visible. This results in yellow looking teeth.

Adding sugar in your coffee can make the erosion much quicker and also cause further damage to your teeth.

Clench and grind your teeth

As you know, coffee contains caffeine in it which surely is a good choice to jumpstart a day. Consuming caffeine in the morning can be accepted as you have a long day ahead however, coffee intake before going to bed can have adverse effects on your teeth and jaws and overall sleeping habits.

Confused? Let me explain, caffeine increases your heart rate, elevates your energy and results in the clenching of your teeth. Clenching your teeth can have the following effects:

  • Cracking teeth (worn-down teeth)
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Pain and stiffness in jaw muscles
  • Facial pain
  • Tooth loss

Oral parafunction in severe cases can result in muscular dysfunction, internal derangement, the breaking of the tooth, etc. That is why experts advise not to consume any caffeine prior to going to bed. I suggest, stop coffee intake four to five hours before going to your bed.

How to prevent damaging your teeth?

lady with toothache having a coffee

Many dentists recommend - not to consume more than 2 cups of coffee a day and if you have already gone too far, it is important for you to cut down the consumption into half.

Now, there is still hope for you to make your teeth look natural as they used to be, here below are some tactics and remedies you can use:

  • Drinking coffee with the help of straw can protect your teeth from getting damaged.
  • Properly rinse your mouth after each drink.
  • Brushing and flossing are more important than you think.
  • Try to consume coffee without added sugar to slow down the erosion of enamel.
  • Eat juicy fruits and vegetables.
  • Try to drink your coffee in one go rather than drinking it all through the day.
  • Visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.
  • Prevent the staining in the first place.

Remember, coffee may definitely taste great and fill you with energy, but it does not do any good to your teeth. So, take preventive measures to enjoy your drink and maintain your smile.