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Coffee & Gum Disease

author image Carolyn Robbins
Carolyn Robbins began writing in 2006. Her work appears on various websites and covers various topics including neuroscience, physiology, nutrition and fitness. Robbins graduated with a bachelor of science degree in biology and theology from Saint Vincent College.
Coffee & Gum Disease
A woman brushing her teeth smiles at her husband who is drinking coffee. Photo Credit: ColorBlind Images/Blend Images/Getty Images

When it comes to dental health, taking care of your fleshy, pink gums is every bit as important as brushing your pearly whites. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an inflammation of the tissue surrounding and supporting the teeth. Certain dietary choices put you at risk for periodontal disease, which left untreated can lead to tooth loss.

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Your mouth is inhabited by bacteria -- some harmless and some damaging. The bad type of bacteria adhere to your teeth in a sticky mass called plaque. As plaque accumulates, it irritates the soft gum tissue causing the swelling, redness and inflammation associated with periodontal disease.

Detrimental Diet

Bad bacteria thrive in acidic environments with plenty of sugar available for food. Coffee is a highly acidic beverage that contains tannins -- chemicals that erode the protective coating on your teeth called enamel. If you stir sugar and cream into your cup of joe, you're giving the microbes just what they need to build a sticky plaque and irritate your gums. To prevent periodontal disease, drink your coffee black and brush your teeth immediately after you finish the mug.

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