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J Conserv Dent. 2009 Jan;12(1):17-21. doi: 10.4103/0972-0707.53336.

Can coffee prevent caries?

Author information

1
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, KLE Society's Institute of Dental Sciences, Bangalore, Karnataka-22, India.

Abstract

AIM:

To determine the anti-carious effect of coffee in humans. Coffee represents one of the most consumed products by the population.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

A random sample of 1000 individuals, of both sexes, who consumed only coffee as a beverage and who visited the Out-Patient Department of KLE Society's Institute of Dental Sciences, with a dental complaint and no history of any major illness, were considered as subjects. The patients' histories with regard to the coffee intake, such as, period of consumption, frequency of consumption, whether taken with milk or wihout milk, with sugar or without sugar, and the brand make, was noted. History of the type of diet, consumption of sweets, periodicity of brushing, and whether they had undergone fluoride applications were also noted. A thousand patients who consumed beverages other than coffee were taken as the control.

RESULTS:

The results showed that coffee most consumed was roasted coffee, and the frequency on an average was about three cups per day, for an average period of 35 years. The Decayed/Missing/Filled Surface (DMFS) scores varied from 2.9, in subjects who drank black coffee, to 5.5 in subjects who consumed coffee together with sweeteners and creaming agents. The DMFS score was 3.4 in subjects who consumed coffee together with milk but no sugar. The DMFS score of the control subjects was 4, indicating that coffee if consumed alone had anticaries action, but in the presence of additives the antibacterial and anticaries action was totally minimized.

CONCLUSION:

Thus coffee can help in prevention of dental caries if consumed without additives.

KEYWORDS:

Caries; DMFS score; Streptococcus mutans; coffee; milk; sugar

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