Coffee has several beneficial properties. The most important benefit of coffee is that it improves focus and concentration for a while. Unfortunately, coffee can also contribute to the formation of cavities and gum disease.
Coffee is acidic
The saliva in a normal or healthy mouth has an average pH of around 6.7. A pH of 7 is considered alkaline, which is neutral and non-acidic. At this range, saliva is beneficial and can actually help to neutralize acids from foods and drinks, protecting your teeth in the process.
However, coffee has an average pH of about 4.85 to 5.10. This is bad news for your mouth if you drink a lot of coffee in the morning. One cup of coffee might lower the pH of your saliva by too much, but two or three cups of coffee may lower the pH drastically. If the pH of your saliva drops below 5.5, it becomes acidic. At this point, your tooth enamel begins to demineralize.
If a cavity forms in a tooth due to demineralization, that cavity can become a hotspot for oral bacteria. This is how tooth decay begins, as the acids produced by negative-gram anaerobic bacteria begin to eat away at the inner portion of affected teeth.
Coffee causes dry mouth
Negative-gram anaerobic bacteria cause tooth decay and gum disease. This is mainly because this type of bacteria produces acid, which attacks tooth enamel and gum tissue. A dry environment is ideal for negative-gram bacteria because it allows this type of bacteria to easily adhere to tooth surfaces.
Unfortunately, as well as bad breath and gum disease, dry mouth caused by coffee can cause an explosion in the population of negative gram bacteria. This creates a highly acidic environment in your mouth that gradually demineralizes the enamel of your teeth. Eventually, demineralization leads to cavities if left unchecked.
Drink water after drinking coffee
Even if you drink several cups of coffee a day, you can counter the negative effects by drinking a glass or bottle of water after every cup of coffee. Drinking water after coffee will wash away the tannins in coffee that stick to your teeth and cause dry mouth. Water also washes away the negative gram bacteria that cling to teeth.
Lastly, water can help to keep you hydrated and raise the pH of your saliva to a neutral level
If you have signs of enamel demineralization, such as white spots or rough areas on your teeth, see your dentist as soon as you can. Demineralization can be halted with the right approach to dental hygiene and dental care.Share