Can Coffee Hurt My Smile?

More than half of all American adults consider a cup of coffee to be a staple in their daily routine. However, despite its prevalence in their lives, many people do not realize that coffee can have detrimental effects on the structure and appearance of their smiles.

You do not have to eliminate coffee from your diet to protect your teeth and gums as long as you pay attention to your consumption habits. Pioneer Valley Dental Arts, a dentist’s office located in Longmeadow, MA, outlines three oral health risks that may develop if you do not remain cautious as you drink coffee.

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Oral Health Concerns Associated with Coffee

Tooth Discoloration

The dark color of coffee comes from tannins, substances that may absorb into your tooth enamel over time, leaving stains on the surface of your smile. Your typical oral hygiene routine will not eliminate this deep tooth discoloration.

To protect your tooth color, you can add milk to your coffee, sip through a straw, or choose a lighter-colored brew. But these efforts will not eliminate the risks entirely. If you notice yellowing, dullness, or stains in your smile, you can ask your dentist about teeth whitening treatments that will enhance the look of your smile.

Enamel Erosion

Coffee has a bitter flavor naturally, so many coffee drinkers add sugar to their beverage to sweeten its taste and make it more palatable. But sugar has notoriously poor effects on the structure of your teeth.

It reacts with the natural bacteria in your mouth to become acidic. This acid then eats away at your tooth enamel, making your teeth vulnerable to major dental problems like tooth decay.

You may develop fewer cavities if you avoid added sugar whenever possible, including in your coffee. You can save both time and money by spending less time in your dentist’s chair getting dental fillings.

Periodontal Disease

Many coffee enthusiasts appreciate the boost of caffeine that accompanies drinking coffee. But a side effect of caffeine consumption is dehydration, which can be harmful to your overall wellbeing as well as your smile.

Low levels of hydration will decrease the production of saliva in your mouth, which can leave you with a condition called dry mouth. The sensation is uncomfortable but may also heighten your risk of oral infections like gum disease.

This is because the dry environment allows bacteria to spread with ease across your teeth to reach your gum tissue. Untreated gum disease may cause severe and irreversible damage to your smile such as tooth loss, so you should drink plenty of water along with your coffee to preserve your oral health.

Get More Oral Health Tips from Your Dentist in Longmeadow, MA

Pioneer Valley Dental Arts offers professional teeth whitening and other cosmetic dental treatments to patients of all ages. Our team of expert dentists also specializes in general and restorative dentistry, including tooth replacement solutions, for patients in Longmeadow, MA. To schedule an appointment with our practice, contact our office by phone at 413.327.9858 or reach a member of our staff online.


Pioneer Valley Dental Arts
171 Dwight Road, Suite 200
Longmeadow, MA 01106

New Patients (413) 327-9858

Current Patients (413) 567-4227


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