If you are a coffee drinker, you need to be extra careful. Coffee can contribute to the buildup of plaque and tartar and accelerate the progression of gum disease.
There are two forms of gum disease: gingivitis, an inflammation of your gums caused by plaque, and periodontitis, a more advanced version of gingivitis that results in a gap between your teeth and your gums. Gum disease, when caught in the gingivitis stage, can be treated and, in the future, prevented. Periodontitis, on the other hand, is more difficult to treat and, due to the gap between the teeth and gums, may cause your teeth to become loose and fall out.
Coffee affects your mouth in two ways. First, it lowers the temperature of your mouth and gums. Second, it reduces the blood flow to your gums. The combination of lowered temperature and restricted blood flow means your gums do not get all of the necessary oxygen they need to continue functioning properly.
Saliva contains oxygen and specialized enzymes which help prevent gum disease by killing the unnecessary bacteria in your mouth. However, drinking coffee can cause dehydration and reduce the amount of saliva you produce, thus increasing your chances of developing gum disease.
For more information on the prevention of dental disease, contact Dr. George Kirtley DDS at 317-841-1111 or visit his website www.smilesbygeorge.com.