Traditionally, coffee has been looked at as a vice; many of us see coffee consumption as one of our bad habits and routinely express the guilt we feel while standing in line at the coffee shop. While there is no getting around the fact that coffee drinking can be an expensive habit, it may not be as bad for you as was once believed.
Pros & Cons of Coffee Drinking
The Myth of Risk
In the not too distant past, research studies were continually strengthening the notion that coffee consumption was directly linked to some serious health issues, such as heart cancer. Since then, contemporary research has shown entirely different results; it is believed that this discrepancy was caused by the researchers of the past failing to properly account for health risks in the heavy coffee drinkers that were studied, such as smoking, excessive drinking, obesity, and other lifestyle factors that are now widely known to cause a host of health issues.
According to the Mayo Clinic, coffee has been shown to help stave off or curb a number of serious diseases and disorders; their research suggests coffee provides the following health benefits:
- Protecting against Parkinson’s disease
- Assisting in Type 2 (adult onset) diabetes prevention
- Improving liver health, effectively reducing liver disease and cancer rates
- Heightened cognitive function
- Decreased risk of depression
The Mayo Clinic is sure to mention, however, that the benefits are best enjoyed through filtered coffee (meaning drip, not espresso or boiled) and also warns against the additional calories that cream and sugar provide. Lastly, there is a fairly common genetic mutation that slows the metabolic digestion of caffeine in the body, which can lead to increase heart disease for anyone with this condition that consumes regular caffeinated beverages.
The Big Drawbacks
Coffee is still, however, a highly acidic drink that is served at often extreme temperatures, which is pretty much the perfect recipe for damaging and staining teeth. The bacteria in our mouths that cause plaque and tartar buildup are heavily influenced by acidity and sugar, two things found in just about every drink served at a coffee shop. Dentists agree that extreme temperature changes are also bad for our teeth, and quickly weaken the tooth’s enamel, allowing for permanent damage and staining to take hold. Worst of all, coffee is often drank early in the day after a person has brushed their teeth and long before they brush them again in the evening; this is further compounded by the likelihood that coffee is consumed alone, which allow the acids and sugars to sit in the mouth for hours at a time.
Visit the Dentist
If you like to drink coffee, you can kick a large portion of the guilt that you’ve been carrying around. Our advice is simple: Enjoy your coffee, but take care of your teeth to make up for the strain you’re putting them through; this means brushing regularly, being conscious of your oral health habits, and visiting our Encino dentist’s office.