A Dothan Dentist Reviews a Boston University Study on Coffee and Gum Health

Posted on: August 1, 2016

DentistIn Boston, over 1,100 men were examined by the dentist over the course of thirty years.  During this time, information was documented regarding the health of their teeth and gums along with tracking their food consumption.  The Department of Veteran Affairs is responsible for this data collection and now researchers at the University of Boston have used it to find out if there is a link between oral health and drinking coffee.  Given the amount of data, the results are interesting and provide a glimpse into how coffee may benefit gum health.

Coffee is full of antioxidants and caffeine.  As such, it is natural to wonder if there are any health benefits to drinking a daily cup of java.  Researchers searched for an answer to this question by breaking the participants into two categories – those that drank at least one cup of coffee a day and those who did not.  They then analyzed the results of their dental exams over the course of thirty years.  What they found is that men who were regular coffee drinkers suffered from fewer teeth with bone loss than those who did not drink coffee.  Bone loss is a common sign of gum disease which is how they came to the conclusion that drinking coffee is good for the health of your gums and teeth.

As a dentist in Dothan, we also wanted to know if drinking too much coffee had any negative health consequences.  While coffee may have a different effect for the rest of the body, these men showed no signs of further health challenges in their teeth.  This is great news for those that like to drink their coffee every morning. The results are contrary to what people have thought for years, where the previous notion has been that coffee could cause periodontal disease.  One thing to consider is that while the coffee itself has benefits, the crème and sugar inside of coffee does not.  If you drink coffee with a lot of sugar, it is important to brush teeth, rather than letting the sugar sit there all day.  The sugar can still lead to cavities, even if the antioxidants and caffeine in coffee are good for your gums.

The results of the study make sense when you consider that one of the early signs of gum disease is swollen gums.  Caffeine is an anti-inflammatory that can be used to reduce swelling and even prevent it.  By preventing this initial phase, the risk of gum disease could be reduced overall.  The key to remember is that drinking coffee must be done in conjunction with brushing and flossing throughout the day. Additionally, you should be drinking plenty of water, eating a healthy diet and having your teeth cleaned twice a year  at our dentist office.  Coffee alone is no substitute for these other measures but can be used to increase their effectiveness.  Also, remember that coffee can stain teeth. So if your teeth are looking yellow, call our Dothan dentist office about a teeth whitening procedure.

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