Can too much coffee lead to tooth loss …?
PD Dr. Kristina Bertl, PhD MSc MBA
Coffee is clearly one of the world’s favourite drinks! For example, in 2019 around 160 million 60-kilo sacks of coffee were consumed worldwide, and Austria is also one of Europe’s biggest consumers of coffee. In Austria, annual consumption is around 162 litres or 7.2 kilos – this equates to an average of 2.6 cups of coffee per person per day!
But is it healthy to have so much coffee each day? Or can enjoying coffee also have negative effects? A recent German study looked at the effects of coffee consumption on periodontal health (Struppek et al. 2022). Data relating to coffee consumption and periodontal health was collected from 6209 participants in the Hamburg City Health study. The participants stated their coffee consumption in cups per day over the past 12 months and were divided into three groups accordingly:
- 0 to 2 cups of coffee per day
- 3 to 6 cups of coffee per day
- ≥ 7 cups of coffee per day
Periodontal examinations performed on the participants showed that approx. 23% had good periodontal health or at most a mild level of disease, almost 58% had moderate periodontitis, and 19% had severe periodontitis. The proportion of participants who consumed 7 or more cups per day rose in these three groups from 2.4 to 3.3 and ultimately to 5%; this means that the proportion of participants who consumed 7 or more cups per day was twice as high in the group with severe periodontitis than in the group with good periodontal health! This was also reflected in the more complex statistical analyses. Each participant with coffee that consumed 7 or more cups per day had a 50% higher chance of having severe periodontitis in comparison to those participants who consumed a maximum of 2 cups of coffee per day.
Accordingly, the authors concluded that higher coffee consumption may correlate with a higher risk of severe periodontitis. However, this study also has a few limitations due to its design, and it will therefore be interesting to see if these results can be confirmed in future prospective studies.
Julia Struppek, Carolin Walther, Kübra Bunte, Birgit‐Christiane Zyriax, Jan‐Per Wenzel, Juliana Senftinger, Julius Nikorowitsch, Guido Heydecke, Udo Seedorf, Thomas Beikler, Katrin Borof, Carola Mayer, Ghazal Aarabi. The association between coffee consumption and periodontitis: a cross‐sectional study of a northern German population. Clinical Oral Investigations (2022) 26:2421–2427. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00784-021-04208-9