Coffee, Tobacco, and Sugar Oh My: What These Are Doing To Your Oral Health

If you're someone that consumes coffee, tobacco, or sugar often, you may notice some changes in your oral health--or maybe you haven't begun to notice anything just yet. These are just a few things that can be harmful to your oral health. Even if you haven't noticed any differences yet with your teeth, there could be in the future. Read on for more information about what these three things can do to your oral health and how you can keep your teeth healthy.


Coffee, much like tea and soda, can stain your teeth. The dark colors within these drinks can stain your teeth and leave them with yellow or even brown stains on them, which can be difficult to get rid of. If coffee or these other beverages are part of your daily consumption, try to brush or rinse your mouth (with mouthwash or with water) immediately after consuming them. Try not to sip on them all day long if possible, and limit the amount you are consuming. 


Tobacco from chewing tobacco or from smoking can also stain your teeth. It can also cause a lack of oxygen to the gums, which can lead to your gums not healing properly if there is ever an infection or injury to your gums. Smoking or tobacco use can also lead to oral cancer, bone loss in the jaw, gum disease, tooth loss, and bad breath. If you use tobacco in any form, you should discuss quitting with your physician. If you aren't able to quit cold-turkey, you can talk to your physician about using medication to help you quit. Tobacco use affects not only your oral health but your overall health as well. Quitting can add years to your life--quit now.


Sugar can be found in a number of foods, including fresh fruits--albeit a natural sugar--it can still be harmful to your teeth if you allow it to sit on your teeth and gums. After consuming any type of sugar, rinse your mouth out or brush your teeth to keep this sugar from eating through your enamel. Sugars found in foods and drinks can be harmful to your oral health, leading to stained teeth, tooth loss, gum disease, and cavities. Clean your teeth twice daily with a soft-bristle toothbrush and toothpaste. If you consume a lot of sugar, think about rinsing your mouth out throughout the day with a mouth rinse to help keep sugar from sitting on your teeth and gums. 

If you consume coffee, soda, tea, and sugary foods/drinks, or are a tobacco user, you could be setting yourself up for some potential oral health issues. Remember to get to the dentist for a checkup every six months and brush your teeth twice daily along with flossing your teeth to keep your teeth and gums healthy.