Could Your Daily Coffee Habit Be Ruining Your Teeth?

A look at why regular visits to a coffee shop could be doing more harm than you think.

Coffee shops seem to be an increasingly popular place to meet to catch up with friends, and even for business meetings. Wherever you live in the UK, you probably don’t have to walk very far before you come across one of the major chains, or perhaps even a local artisan coffee shop. Whilst coffee, per se, isn’t actually harmful for your teeth, it is worth taking a look at why our Purley patients need to be cautious about their coffee habit.

Whilst some short and strong coffees such as espresso or ristretto may contribute to stained teeth, other coffees can have a much bigger impact than that.

Sugar, sugar and more sugar

Even if you don’t add sugar to your coffee, many patients of the Confidental Clinic may be surprised at the amount of sugar already present in many of the drinks. This especially applies to the more ‘exotic’ coffees; the ones that include not just water, coffee and a little milk perhaps, but also additional extras such as whipped cream, marshmallows and flavoured syrups. Rather than treating these as a drink, it is perhaps better to look at them more as you would a desert. The fact is that some of these drinks contain an incredibly high amount of tooth damaging sugars.

How sugar causes damage

Sugar is a fuel for humans and animals but is also a fuel used by the harmful bacteria that live in our mouth. The sugars that stick to our teeth and gums provides a never ending supply of food for these bacteria  and causes their numbers to grow. As the number of bacteria grow, the more likely it is that tooth decay and gum disease will follow.

What to do?

We are not saying that you should not drink coffee, but it is important to be aware of the harm that some of them can cause. If you drink a standard coffee such as an Americano, you will minimise the potential damage, though these may still contain some sugar of course. Saving the more exotic drinks for special occasions is a sensible way to go and still allows the social benefits that coffee shops can bring.

Book an appointment at our Purley practice

The consumption of coffee, and many other foods, can lead to a number of problems. The damage caused by some of these can be minimised through regular check up appointments at our Purley practice. Other issues, such as coffee stained teeth, will need an appointment with our cosmetic dentist to correct. Our straightforward teeth whitening treatment is an excellent way to whiten teeth that have become darker through regular coffee consumption.

If you would like to discuss having your teeth whitened, or to arrange another appointment, please call the Confidental Clinic on 020 8660 8923.