Body & Sports

Black coffee drunk in moderation helps stop tooth decay, research

Updated: 2014-06-12
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If you like a strong cup of black coffee, your dentist has probably told you it is doing your teeth no favours.
 
But new research suggests that drunk in moderation, coffee can actually stop tooth decay.
 
Brazilian scientists have found that a certain type of coffee bean has an anti-bacterial property.
 
If it is drunk strong, black, without sugar, and in moderation, it could help keep teeth health.
 
black coffee
Strong, black coffee drunk in moderation can actually help stop tooth decay, research shows. Scientists from Rio de Janerio's Federal University tested extracted baby teeth with extract from Coffea canephora
 
Scientists at Rio de Janeiro’s Federal University tested extracted baby teeth with an extract from Coffea canephora, a type of bean that makes up 30 per cent of the world’s coffee.
 
They found that the coffee actively broke down bacterial biofilms which cause dental plaques, a major cause of tooth decay.
 
Lead researcher Andréa Antonio said: ‘Dental plaque is a classic complex biofilm and it’s the main culprit in tooth decay and gum disease.
 
‘We are always looking for natural compounds – food and drink, even – that can have a positive impact on dental health.’
 
Using milk teeth, donated by children, the team cultivated biofilms on tooth fragments using the bacteria in saliva samples.
 
When the fragments were exposed in solution to an extract of coffee beans, the bacteria were broken down.
 
The researchers think that polyphenol antioxidants in the coffee were probably responsible for the effect, but said more research is needed to establish a direct link.
 
Professor Antonio, whose paper is published today in the journal Letters in Applied Microbiology, warned that too much coffee can still be bad for teeth.
 
The researcher said: ‘Whilst this is an exciting result, we have to be careful to add that there are problems associated with excessive coffee consumption, including staining and the effects of acidity on tooth enamel.
 
black coffee
The bean is used in 30 per cent of the world's coffee. It was found to break down bacterial bio films which cause dental plaques - a cause of tooth decay
 
‘And if you take a lot of sugar and cream in your coffee, any positive effects on dental health are probably going to be cancelled out.’
 
Eventually, the active chemicals could be extracted from coffee to be used in a mouthwash or toothpaste.
 
Separate research has found that a similar effect could be found in hop leaves used to make beer.
 
Scientists at Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences found the leaves contain polyphenols which can prevent the release of bacterial toxins in the mouth.
 
Yoshihisa Tanaka, writing in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, said: ‘Every year, farmers harvest about 2,300 tons of hops in the United States, but the bracts are not used for making beer and are discarded.
 
‘Thus, there is potentially a large amount of bracts that could be repurposed for dental applications.’

 

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About Xiamen Harmony Dental
 
Xiamen Harmony Dental is a professional dental clinic approved by the Xiamen Health Bureau. It adopts the international dental treatment model with advanced technology and equipments.
 
WOX card members can enjoy a 10% discount and free dental check-up.
 
Address: 106 of No.15 Xidi Nanli, Xiamen (Xinlongcheng, Lujiangdao)
Contact Number: 13950052120
Contact person: Dr. Wang (he speaks English)
Bus: Bus 35, 99, Xia 2, 66, 533 and get off at Xidi Bus Stop

SOURCE: Xiamen Harmony Dental
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