Coffee Tastes Great and Can Help You to Fight Oral Cancer and Tooth Decay!Personally speaking, it doesn’t take much to convince me that another cup of coffee is a good idea. While certainly not in the ranks of coffee “super-users” I do hold my own at 3 to 4 cups a day. With over 100 million coffee drinkers in America and with over half of us consuming coffee every day, I am certainly not alone.
While coffee and caffeine has long had a bit of a bad boy reputation, even banned in some circles, much of the negativity was long on belief and short on actual research.
Sure too much of anything is generally a bad thing–consuming 12 cups a day is hardly recommended–but more and more research is pointing to the many health benefits associated to moderate coffee consumption.
And you might ask, “What has all of this coffee buzz have to do with oral health?”
Interestingly enough there are two very positive oral benefits associated to coffee consumption, or at least supported by research.
Coffee Consumption and a Reduced Risk of Oral and Throat Cancer
A comprehensive study was completed in Milan, Italy. This study pooled the information from nine case-controlled studies on the subject of head and neck cancers (over 5,000 cases with cancer were compared to over 9000 cases that were cancer free). The results strongly support the relationship between coffee consumption and the decrease in risk of oral and throat cancer. Coffee drinkers in these tests generally consumed between 1 to 4 cups a day.
Here is a link to an abstract of the study on Coffee Use and Lowered Risk of Oral Cancer
Coffee and a Reduction in Tooth Decay and CavitiesSeveral studies have provided some great news for us coffee drinkers. (Note that these tests were done using higher grade coffee roasts, think Arabica) The studies found that compounds in coffee showed a very positive effect in inhibiting the growth of bacteria in the dental biofilm–specifically the s. mutans bacteria that is the primary villain in the tooth decay process.
Ideally the exact compounds in coffee will be identified and isolated for use in oral health care as there are some downsides to consider:
One, if you use sugar and milk (also a sugar source) in your coffee then these will promote the tooth decay process.
Two, coffee is highly acidic and this can prove detrimental as well to your tooth enamel.
Three, it is no secret that coffee will stain your teeth and give them an unsightly yellowish-brown color.
For best results it would be recommended that you drink your coffee black and it certainly would not hurt to keep consumption on the moderate side.
With over a 1000 compounds in coffee it may be a while before the responsible compounds are isolated, but I sincerely doubt that the isolated compounds will beat the fun, joy and satisfaction of great cup of coffee to start the day.
And while certainly not a replacement for twice-a-day brushing and once-a-day flossing, if you are a coffee lover it is good to know that a smart intake of coffee could actually be beneficial for your oral health as well.
So, in summation, enjoy that cup of joe knowing that a moderate intake of high-quality coffee could be helping out your teeth and health, providing support for great oral health.