Does Caffeine Affect Your Risk for Oral Cancer?

Do you want to reduce your risk of oral cancer, as well as feel more energetic in the morning? Recent studies show that drinking at least four cups of caffeinated coffee per day can lower your risk for mouth and throat cancer by 49%, while decreasing other oral risks as well.

Oral Cancer and Caffeine

For years, coffee has had its detractors, who insist that coffee leads to stress, depression, insomnia and fatigue, dehydration, and when consumed with milk and sugar, insulin sensitivity. However, current research shows that coffee is an excellent addition to a healthy diet so long as the caffeine is still present.

Antioxidants in Coffee May Prevent Oral Cancer

A recent study by the American Cancer Society followed nearly a million men and women cancer free at the onset in 1982 for 26 years. According to results published in 2012, 868, died from oral, pharyngeal cancer. Researchers found that death rates are lower by nearly half among those drinking in excess of four cups of coffee as compared to those who abstain or had one cup of coffee per day. While coffee cannot overcome the impact of tobacco and alcohol use, nor the rising impact of the HPV virus on oral cancer, antioxidants, polyphenols, and other compounds found in coffee are very beneficial in preventing oral cancer.

These findings were collaborated by a 2013 French study of 4,000 participants, which concluded that the antioxidants in coffee and even tea can protect against the formation of oral cancer. While more research is needed to see why cancer risks are lower, drinking caffeinated coffee and tea promotes good oral health.

A Chinese study even found that green tea consumption may lower the risk of oral cancer for men, even those who smoke heavily, but not for women.

Caffeine and Fewer Cavities

Additional studies show that coffee has many additional benefits for oral health. Brazilian researchers found that strong black coffee kills the bacteria on teeth that leads to tooth decay, so long as it is consumed without additives. A random sample of 1000 those who consumed three cups of black coffee for an average of 35 years scored over 40% lower on an index that measured Decayed/Missing/Filled Surface (DMFS) than those who drink coffee with cream and sweeteners in a control group of 1000 non- coffee drinkers.

Coffee and Lower Periodontal Disease Rates

A 30 year study of 1152 male veterans by the US Department of Veterans Affairs showed that coffee offers protection against periodontal disease. By examining factors such as probing depth (PD), bleeding on probing, and radiographic alveolar bone loss (ABL), researchers found that fewer study participants who self-reported coffee use had periodontal bone loss around their teeth.

Though studies link caffeine consumption with lower disease rates, coffee and tea do stain teeth. The good news is that having semiannual cleanings will usually reverse the staining, while eating raw fruits and vegetables and brushing your teeth with baking soda twice a month will keep them white. Dentists recommend that you drink no more than two or three cups of coffee per day to keep your teeth looking great.

For information about the impact of coffee on oral cancer, contact the team at Oral Surgery of Utah.