How Coffee Reduces Periodontal Disease Risk

While drinking coffee can cause heart palpitations, insomnia, urinary frequency, and anxiety, it may also have positive effects on your oral health. For example, coffee is associated with a lower risk for periodontal disease, which can cause inflamed and bleeding gums, and the destruction of the tissues and bones that support your teeth. Here are some ways coffee can reduce the risk, or even prevent periodontal disease:

Healthy Chemical Compounds

Special substances in coffee known as phenolic compounds include chlorogenic acid and are thought to have potent antioxidant properties. These substances may help reduce the effects of free radicals inside the mouth. The compounds in coffee may also help scavenge harmful microbes that contribute to gingivitis and periodontitis.

While drinking a couple of cups of coffee a day can help keep your gums healthy, drinking too much may lead to enamel erosion and gum recession. Acid erosion can cause your dental enamel to thin, allowing bacteria to get inside your teeth, causing cavities. Too much coffee can also stain your teeth and cause a dry mouth. Talk to local dental services such as a dental hygienist or dental assistant to learn more about how coffee affects your teeth and gums.

Decreases Inflammation

Drinking coffee may decrease pro-inflammatory chemicals in the blood known as C-reactive protein. When these inflammatory markers are elevated, your risk for periodontal disease, cardiovascular disease, and strokes may rise.

Coffee can help dampen local and systemic inflammation, which is thought to be an important risk factor in the development of periodontal disease. In addition to coffee, other factors that can suppress oral inflammation include maintaining a strict routine of oral hygiene, increasing your dietary intake of vitamin C, not smoking, limiting your consumption of alcohol, and taking aspirin. It is also thought that coffee drinkers have fewer teeth with evidence of bone loss, which is the most common trait of periodontal disease. 

If you have risk factors for periodontal disease such as diabetes, tooth grinding, cardiovascular disease, or autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, talk to your dentist about how drinking coffee can help lower your risk. While drinking a couple of cups of coffee every day may help keep your gums healthy, you will also need to see your dentist on a regular basis for checkups and professional cleanings, and brush and floss your teeth after meals and as needed. 

Every person is different, so consider contacting a dentist to learn whether coffee is good for your oral health or not.