Many people enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning before beginning a hectic day of work or school. Whether you drink your coffee black or with milk and sugar, this caffeinated drink can possibly cause teeth staining and erosion. However, recent research has shown that coffee could actually benefit your teeth as well.
Researchers at the Rio de Janeiro’s Federal University in Brazil examined the effects of Coffea canephora extract on baby teeth. This coffee extract is present in 30% of the world’s coffee beans. The results of this study concluded that the coffee extract actively broke down the bacterial biofilms which are responsible for causing dental plaques which lead to harmful tooth decay.
Lead researcher Andréa Antonio said, “Dental plaque is a classic complex biofilm and it’s the main culprit in tooth decay and gum disease. We are always looking for natural compounds – food and drink, even – that can have a positive impact on dental health.”
This finding is important because dental plaque contributes to the development of gum disease. The researchers believe that specifically the polyphenols found in the coffee bean lower the risk of developing dental plaque. Past studies have suggested that coffee may have a myriad of other health benefits including protecting against Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and liver disease, including liver cancer, improving cognitive function and decreasing the risk of depression.
However, it is important to keep in mind that in order to reap the most health benefits from coffee, it should be consumed black; without milk or sugar. Sugary drinks can still cause tooth decay and add unnecessary, empty calories to a balanced diet. Furthermore, it is not recommended to excessively drink coffee on a daily basis.
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