How Bad is Coffee for your Teeth?

A lot of us can’t do without that first cup of coffee when we first wake up. It’s as traditional as bacon and eggs. And let’s face it. It tastes good, we’re told it could be good for our health, and it’s part of our social culture.

Coffee as a beverage is believed to have been first introduced to the world in Ethiopia in the 11th century, when the leaves of the coffee plant were boiled, and the remaining liquid drank for its healing effects. It was called “the magical fruit” for this reason.

Lead researcher Andrea Antonio, of Rio de Janeiro’s Federal University, conducted a study which found that a bacteria found in the Robusta coffee bean can actually break down bacteria that causes dental plaque.

However, this means straight black coffee without any of the goodies like cream or sugar, which reverses any good effects Robusta coffee may have on the teeth.

Coffee seeds are green, red, or yellow until roasted. Then they turn brown, just like bread turns browner when toasted. Coffee naturally contains caffeine—from the bean to the leaf—and it’s this stimulant, sometimes combined with sugar and other flavors like vanilla, chocolate, caramel, you name it—that keeps people coming back cup after cup. But this same stimulant can also damage your teeth.

While no one is trying to take your coffee away, you should be aware of the effects coffee can have on your teeth. The dark brown color that stains cups can also stain your teeth in the same way. This staining comes from tannins, which are found in coffee and other drinks that stain, like wine.

Tannins like to stick to the teeth and cause discoloration. Sometimes brushing and rinsing aren’t enough to keep a coffee drinker’s smile white and healthy-looking.

Besides dimming the color of your teeth, coffee also has adverse effects on the health of your teeth.If your teeth have been stained by coffee consumption, read on, because there are things you can do to improve the look and health of them.



According to and other sources, the bad effects coffee and caffeine has on your teeth includes:

  • Halitosis (bad breath).

  • Stains (sometimes permanent unless treated).

  • Erosion of enamel (because coffee is acidic).

  • Tooth decay (from the acid in coffee, and sweeteners added).

  • Brittle or thin teeth.

  • Periodontitis (gum disease).

Even one cup of coffee can affect the color and health of your teeth, so you’ll need to minimize the damage by sipping your coffee through a straw, brushing right after drinking it, or eating some fruit (for the fiber, which helps remove plaque).

Another study concludes that heavy coffee drinkers suffer far more periodontal disease (also known as gum disease), than those who drink a cup or less a day.



If your teeth and gums have been affected or damaged by coffee, there is good news. The health of your teeth and gums can be improved or restored by ToothHQ Dental Specialists specialist Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS. He’s a Board Certified Periodontist who’s recently been featured in the media, and has years of experience. His offices are located in Carrollton, TX, and Grapevine, TX.


The first step to restoring your teeth and smile involves a free consultation with Dr. Vadivel. He will discuss with you the procedure, insurance, and estimated cost. The second step is discussing your dental issues and the appointment. Dr. Vadivel will tell you what to expect during each phase of the procedures you will have, and answer any questions. He will assist you in scheduling an appointment.The third step is receiving the appropriate treatment, which Dr. Vadivel will provide with the ultimate care and concern, whether it be tooth extraction, implants, dentures, or surgery.Dr. Vadivel places the comfort and wellbeing of the patient above all else, and will help ease any discomfort or stress associated with dental visits—before, during, and after the procedure.



If stained or damaged teeth and gums are a problem for you, know that there is something you can do about it, and restoration can begin today.If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment with ToothHQ Dental Specialists, call 214-731-0123. You can also book an appointment online via their website,, text, or email.