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Coffee Breath: What Causes It & How to Get Rid of It

June 1, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — clearcoastdental @ 4:34 pm
Woman drinking a cup of coffee.

If you’re a regular coffee fiend, you aren’t alone! Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages on the entire planet, with many of us enjoying a cup or two daily to fuel up our batteries and propel us throughout our day. That said, there is one unfortunate side-effect of drinking this caffeinated concoction; the foul breath that it causes! Keep reading to learn more from your dentist about what causes coffee breath and what you can do to keep your breath fresh without giving up your favorite drink.

Why Does Coffee Make My Breath Stink?

Coffee is prepared by roasting coffee beans, which also releases sulfur-containing aroma compounds. These compounds, along with the acids present in coffee, are what causes bad breath. The high acidity in coffee can create an imbalance in the pH levels inside your mouth, which will encourage bacteria to grow.

Coffee also causes dry mouth, which reduces your saliva production. The caffeine in coffee is partially to blame for this; it contains molecules called tannins, which make your mouth feel dry and parched. Your saliva helps to wash away harmful and smelly bacteria that grows unchecked when your mouth is too dry, so not having enough of it will definitely make your breath stink!

Additionally, many of the additives found in coffee such as milk, cream, and sugar can all cause an overgrowth of bacteria in your mouth. When these bacteria consume protein particles, a form of sulfur gas is released which makes your breath stink; after all, sulfur is notorious for that “rotten egg” smell.

Tips for Getting Rid of Coffee Breath

Luckily, you don’t have to give up coffee entirely to avoid coffee breath! Here are some tips to help keep your breath fresh:

  • Brush your teeth immediately after drinking coffee, ideally within half an hour.
  • Use a sugar-free breath mint or cough drop after finishing your coffee. Chewing sugarless gum or even fresh, raw parsley can also do the trick.
  • Gargle with an antibacterial mouthwash daily.
  • Drink a glass of water after drinking your coffee.
  • Consider opting for black coffee, or coffee with sugarless alternatives. This may not entirely eliminate your coffee breath, but it can lessen its intensity.

Knowing what causes coffee breath and what you can do about it will go a long way towards ensuring that you don’t have to give up your favorite drink just to keep your breath fresh.

About the Practice

Clear Coast Dental proudly serves patients and families in the New Bedford area under the leadership of three skilled specialists: Dr. Hira Akbar, Dr. William Herr, and Dr. Andrew Luccio. Together they combine several years of experience to provide patients with an elite level of dental care. Their practice is pleased to offer many available services including preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. To schedule a visit, feel free to contact the practice online or over the phone: (508) 812-9294.

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