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Does Coffee Help Protect Against Gum Disease?

Aug 28, 2014

By Dean George

Has your dentist remarked to you that the coffee you drink is staining your teeth?

Here’s some good news that you can share at your next visit while trying to talk with their fingers in your mouth: consuming the popular beverage known as “a hug in a mug” may boost your periodontal health by protecting against gum disease.

We know that’s saying a mouthful, but let us explain it this way: a recent study exploring the role that antioxidants play in gum disease found that coffee may actually benefit gum health and protect against tooth loss.

“This is the first long term study of its kind that has investigated the association between coffee consumption and periodontal disease in humans,” according to lead author Nathan Ng, Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine.

More than half of Americans drink coffee daily (déjà brew?) and researchers say it is the leading source of antioxidants for most Americans, whether they drink caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee.

It was the large number of Americans that are drinking coffee that prompted the team of researchers to explore the role antioxidants play in dental health, especially gum disease. The study evaluated the data of 1,152 men collected between 1968 and 1998. The test subjects’ coffee consumption was based on self-reports and questionnaires.

Taking into account risk factors like alcohol consumption, education, body mass index, smoking, whether the subject was diabetic, how often they brushed and flossed and recent teeth cleanings, the study found that consuming coffee was linked to a significant reduction in the number of teeth affected by periodontal loss.

“We found that coffee consumption did not have an adverse effect on periodontal health, and instead, may have protective effects against periodontal disease,” Ng said.

That’s the good news. As previously reported in Agent Straight-Talk, the bad news is it does stain teeth as pigments from brewed coffee become embedded in the cracks and ridges of our tooth enamel.

Since many coffee drinkers admit, ‘They’ll have to pull the hot mug of java from my cold, stiff fingers,’ dentists realize encouraging them to abandon their drink altogether isn’t likely. That’s why the Colgate website encourages coffee lovers to drink at specific times rather than sipping non-stop throughout the day.

Coffee lovers would also be wise to drink water after enjoying their java, use whitening toothpaste twice daily and visit their dentists every six months for regular cleanings. Just one more reason why having a dental plan that helps with regular dental visits is important!

To see plans available in your area, click here

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Copyright 2014, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC  

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