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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

What do Coffee and Cigarettes do to Your Teeth?

Dental and hygiene is very important and must be maintained. Although one may not realize it, oral conditions have a very big impact on the overall health and immune system. There is scientific proof that people who smoke need to consume a lot of coffee compared to non-smokers as their body produces enzymes that help break down caffeine and wear out its effects faster.

The combination is coffee and caffeine is bad as both these substances greatly affect a person’s teeth and overall oral health in an undesirable manner.

Why are Cigarettes Bad for Your Teeth?

Smoking cigarettes can affect your oral health in the following ways:

●    Tatar Formation

Cigarettes contain tobacco, a leaf that contains high levels of harmful chemicals. When this substance mixes with the saliva, it creates a medium of bacteria to grow in the insides of your cheek, gums, and teeth by sticking on them.

As the situation progresses, the bacteria will form a film around your mouth and is referred to as mouth plague.

If it continues to accumulate without getting cleaned, a hard yellow substance will be formed. This is known as tartar. It can only be removed professionally by a dentist.

●    Gum Problems

Over time, the tartar that settles at the base of your teeth, just above the gum line, is very bad for you as the bacteria continue to irritate and damage your gums.

As a result, it makes the gums loose and could lead to increase in pain, sensitivity, cavity, and tooth decay.

Eventually, the tooth turns yellow and the person will have a really bad breath.

Dental implant

Smoking and coffee is bad for oral health, Credit: Authority Dental

●    Tumor and Cancer Formation

Tobacco contains high levels of additive chemicals like nicotine and other deadly cancer-causing chemicals. These chemicals trigger mutation in cell division and leads to abnormal tumor formation in your mouth.

This is why oral cancer is very common in smokers- they are 6 times more likely to develop tumors than non-smokers.

●    Poor Blood Flow

The harmful smoke and chemicals affect the blood supply to the gums and therefore causes infections and abnormal gums tissue functions.

The gum will also abnormally bleed while performing normal practices like brushing and flossing. It could even bleed while the person is smoking.

Other harmful effects of smoking include:

  1. Bad breath

  2. Stains on teeth

  3. Inflammation

  4. Low of jaw bone density

  5. White patches inside the mouth

  6. Slow healing process

Woman drinking coffee

Coffee is bad for you teeth, Credit: Pexels

What Does Coffee Do to Your teeth?

Consuming coffee can affect your oral health in the following ways:

●    Stain and Discoloration of Teeth

Caffeine contains a color compound known as tannins, it is a chemical that breaks down in water and tints the color of your teeth. As a result, your teeth will appear yellow, black, or grey.

The pigments usually land in the cracks and ridges of your enamel and over time, it could lead to permanent discoloration.

How to prevent discoloration: One can try to prevent staining or discoloration by drinking coffee from a straw and brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, especially after consumption.

Note: A common misconception is that adding cream to your coffee will help avoid stains but that is not true. This is because one cup of coffee will have the same amount of tannins,  with or without the addition of the creamer.

Woman drinking water

Dry mouth and bad breath, Credit: Pexels

●    Dry Mouth and Bad Breath

Coffee usually gets stuck to your tongue after consumption. Due to its intense flavor, it can greatly affect the production of saliva. As a result, bacteria will start to accumulate due to the absence of the antibacterial saliva.

The accumulation of bacteria will lead to the formation of bad order and the person will have a really intense bad breath.

A decrease in the production of saliva will also lead to dry mouth and the inability to maintain its normal pH. This could be harmful to the teeth and gums.

●    The Weakening of The Teeth

Coffee is very acidic in nature. Therefore, due to the combination of this acidity, absence of saliva to maintain pH, and production and accumulation of bacteria in the mouth, it results in the erosion of the tooth enamel.

This is another reason why your teeth get discolored as the enamel is made of protective mineral layers and the erosion of these layers will make the inner yellow dentin layer more visible.

Once the tooth becomes weak due to erosion, it will become more prone to problems like cavity and decay.


Both coffee and cigarettes have a negative impact on your teeth and oral health in terms of colouration, infection, bone density, circulation and breath. Thus, it is highly advised to reduce its usage and consumption or take extra precaution and care of your oral health.

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