Is Black Coffee Actually Good for Your Teeth?

Many of us enjoy drinking black coffee in the mornings. Not only does a steaming hot cup o’ Joe taste wonderful but it also provides even the most sleepy person with a real “boost” so they can get in gear and start enjoying the day. If you enjoy a strong cup of coffee in the mornings, your dentist may have told you at one time or another that drinking coffee is not ideal for your teeth, particularly if you add sugar.

We have some good news for those of you who drink black coffee! New research suggests that drinking black coffee in moderation can actually help prevent tooth decay. Scientists in Brazil (a coffee-consumption capitol of the world) have discovered that a particular type of coffee bean possesses anti-bacterial properties. When coffee from this bean is consumed black and without sugar, it can actually help keep teeth healthy and strong. Scientists at Rio de Janeiro’s Federal University carried out testing on baby teeth with an extract derived from Coffea caephora, a type of bean that makes up nearly one-third of the coffee consumed worldwide.

The research team found that the coffee helped break down bacterial bio-films that cause dental plaque, a major contributor to tooth decay. They cultivated bio-films on tooth fragments using the bacteria from samples of saliva. When these pieces of teeth were exposed to the coffee bean extract, the bacteria broke down. The scientists believe that polyphenol antioxidants in the coffee were what caused the effect but did note that more studies are needed in order to establish a direct link between the beans and improved tooth health.

The Takeaway

Many people drink coffee with sugar – a habit that, unfortunately, can wreak havoc on teeth, as the added table sugar attacks tooth enamel and feeds oral bacteria, encouraging cavities. If you’re one of the many people who add sugar to your coffee, consider changing your habits, as black coffee without sugar is not only less harmful, but may actually help keep your smile healthy. The next time you visit your All-in-One Dental Plan dentist, ask him or her if they’ve heard of this promising new study out of Brazil if they think black coffee might be good for your teeth!