Dentist warns popular drink linked to dry mouth, bad breath and cavities

Dentist warns popular drink linked to dry mouth, bad breath and cavities

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Dentist Payal Bhalla cautioned coffee drinkers that the drink can stain teeth due to the presence of tannins.

As coffee has an “acid nature”, the drink could “erode tooth enamel and lead to tooth sensitivity and cavities”.

Bhalla added: “Its diuretic properties that can contribute to dry mouth and reduced saliva production, increasing the risk of tooth decay.”

The dental expert explained: “Saliva plays a crucial role in maintaining oral health by neutralising acids and washing away food particles and harmful bacteria.

“A dry mouth can increase the risk of tooth decay and bad breath.”

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If you tend to sip on your coffee, this could be more risky because of prolonged exposure to its harmful components.

By sipping on coffee, there is an extended amount of time that the teeth are exposed to tannins.

“Tannins are responsible for the dark colour in coffee and can adhere to the enamel, leading to discolouration and stains on the teeth,” Bhalla explained.

As noted earlier, coffee is acidic, so “the longer it remains in contact with the teeth, the more time it has to erode the tooth enamel”.

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Another thing to be wary of is if you add sugar or sweeteners to your coffee.

Bhalla said: “Sipping [coffee] slowly exposes your teeth to prolonged sugar exposure.

“This provides more time for the bacteria in your mouth to feed on the sugar and produce acids that can damage the enamel.”

For those not ready to part with coffee, Bhalla has some top tips.

“Limit the time your teeth are in contact with coffee by drinking it more quickly,” Bhalla recommended.

Another recommendation is to “use a straw to reduce direct contact with your teeth”.

Bhalla added: “Rinse your mouth with water after drinking coffee to help neutralise acidity and wash away staining compounds.

“Practise good oral hygiene, including regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups.”

Payal Bhalla is the Lead Dentist and Clinical Director of Quest Dental Clinic.

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