For many of us, the day can’t fully begin until we have our first cup of coffee, for others, coffee is more of an afternoon pick-me-up to get through the rest of the day. Regardless of the time you drink it, before you grab you next cup, realize that you may want to find another alternative to that caffeine rush you’ve chosen to ingest every day. Not only does coffee stain your teeth, but it can contribute to the buildup of plaque and tartar, and accelerate the progression of periodontal disease, better known as gum disease.
Quickly, there are two forms of gum disease: gingivitis – an inflammation of your gums caused by plaque, and periodontitis – a more advanced version of gingivitis that results in a gap between your teeth and your gums. When caught in the gingivitis stage, can be treated and prevented. Periodontitis is more difficult to treat because of the resulting gap between the teeth and gums, ultimately resulting in tooth loss.
Coffee affects your mouth in two ways. First, it lowers the temperature of your mouth and gums. Second, it reduces the blood flow. The combination of lowered temperature and restricted blood flow means your gums do not get the oxygen needed to function properly.
Here’s the good news: saliva contains oxygen and specialized enzymes which help prevent gum disease by killing the unnecessary bacteria in your mouth. However, drinking coffee causes dehydration and reduces the amount of saliva you produce, increasing your chances of developing gum disease. So, when you are thinking about that second caffeine boost, make sure you take good care of your teeth afterwards. Drink water between cups or have saliva-producing snacks to keep your mouth clean.
To set up an appointment, call Dr. Middleton’s office in Riverside, CA at (951) 688-3442 or through the website.
Dr. Gerald Middleton proudly accepts patients from Riverside and all surrounding areas.