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The Effects of Caffeine on The Oral Cavity

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You wake up tired and need a kickstart for the day, so you get ready and set yourself to the kitchen and prepare a nice coffee just the way you like it. But what you don’t know is that cup of coffee giving you energy for the day is in reality also kickstarting decay in your oral cavity. IdentificationCaffeine is in many other beverages that we drink not just in coffee we also have our pop that carries caffeine. Although most of us caffeine lovers don’t see it now, the damage it’s making to our teeth we will eventually start seeing and feeling. What is caffeine? “It’s a natural stimulant most commonly found in tea, coffee and cacao plants. It works by stimulating the brain and central nervous system helping you stay alert and preventing the onset of tiredness.”(What does coffee do to your teeth?)Caffeine itself does not cause staining. It contains other ingredients that do.

Caffeine has this big key ingredient called tannins that causes yellow/brown color compounds that stick to the surfaces of the teeth, staining them over time. This will then lead to bacterial growth in the mouth, causing the enamel to wear off. Wearing off or decay to the enamel will cause sensitivity and thinning due to the underlayer of the tooth breaking down(P, 2017). The bacteria also creates acids in the mouth that will lead to erosion. The erosion will then cause the buildup of bacteria, which also causes you to have bad breath. Bad breath is also called halitosis, meaning it’s a lot harder to get rid of because it adheres to the tongue and will stay there until it gets treated with the right care(What does coffee do to your teeth?). There are four signs of erosion:

  1. Sensitivity is an early sign of erosion. Sweets andhot or cold foods will cause pain when exposed to it.
  2. Discoloration or staining of teeth caused by the exposure of dentin. Dentin is a bony tissue underneath the enamel of a tooth.
  3. Cracks and chips occur when an enamel breaks down causing it to become jagged and unsmooth.
  4. Painful sensitivity happens when erosion has progressed causing decay into the tooth and opening new spots for sensitivity to occur by different temperatures of food and sweets.

It feels as if you have a cavity but ten times worse than that. And number 5 is cupping of the teeth. Cupping is holes or indentation in the enamel which can become bigger if not taken care of(Tooth enamel). Mountain Dew mouth is a very common cause of tooth decay. This caffeinated drink has so much sugar,citric acid, and caffeine and when combined together, they cause worse damage to the oral cavity than any other caffeinated soda. Thick plaque will form around the teeth causing decay. After this decay, they will experience painful toothaches and blisters on the gums. When trying to clean the plaque from the teeth, the gums and gum pocket might release pus from infections depending on how bad the decay is and how long it’s been without treatment(Tooth enamel). Dentists have found that drinking more than a can of pop a day will increase the damages of decay. When drinking Mountain Dew for a long period of time, the effects on the teeth are the same effects that meth users see and have. Mountain Dew has so much sugar and caffeine that drinking two cans of Mountain Dew in just one day adds up to drinking one and a half pounds of sugar a week. Sodas are so cheap and never really expire, making it more of a smarter choice for many people, but it’s not a smart choice, especially when you’re drinking a can with every meal you eat(Tooth enamel).


There’s no way to restore enamel unless it’s weakened enamel that can be restored to a certain extent. To restore weakened enamel, you need you cut back on the intake of drinks that have been doing damage(P, 2017). Not adding sugar or creamer into your coffee will help your teeth. Sugar and creamer will speed upthe process of bacterial growth. Sugar will only cause more damage when mixed with caffeine. It will stick to the teeth and turn it into plaque which will then cause decay, also known as a cavity, meaning it will eat away at the enamel causing the tooth to become weak and very sensitive(What does coffee do to your teeth?). Use a straw when drinking caffeinated drinks. This will allow the caffeine and sugar to pass your teeth, making them less likely to stick and stain the surface. Fruits with fibers like apples are a great way of helping you clean away those sugars trying to stick to your teeth. To get rid of the sugar and tannin around your teeth, brush and use a tongue scraper. Before it the sugar turns into plague. This will help remove any bacteria growth starting to form, which will then cause bad breath(What does coffee do to your teeth?).

The staining caused by tannin can easily be taken care of by doing checkups and cleanings at your dental office. “John Koutsoyiannis, DDS, founder and cosmetic dentist at soho smile, says that brushing your teeth with baking soda twice a month helps reduce staining”(What does coffee do to your teeth?). In ConclusionEverything we drink has a major effect on our oral cavity. We only get one of each tooth. There’s no such thing and regrowing a tooth back in, unless its a child. There are dentures and other things like that, but it’s not the same as having your teeth. Having implants in, you have to change your way of eating, and tasting isn’t the same. Normal chewing is also affected. It’s okay to treat yourself with sweets. Just make sure to take the proper care after to prevent erosion.

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