NEW YORK – Coffee could not only perk you up in the morning but could also help protect you from gum disease, researchers have found.
They found that those who drank coffee were protected against gum disease.
They believe the antioxidants could play a role – but admit they are not quite sure what is happening.
Lead author Nathan Ng of the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, said: ‘We found that coffee consumption did not have an adverse effect on periodontal health, and, instead, may have protective effects against periodontal disease.’
Coffee consumption was associated with a small but statistically significant reduction in number of teeth with periodontal bone loss, the study published in the August issue of the Journal of Periodontology found.
Researchers concluded that coffee consumption may be protective against periodontal bone loss in adult males—the group examined in the study.
‘This is the first long-term study of its kind that has investigated the association between coffee consumption and periodontal disease in humans,’ Ng added.
Researchers looked at data collected from 1,152 men in the US Department of Veterans Affairs Dental Longitudinal Study (DLS) during triennial dental visits between 1968 and 1998.
The DLS is a prospective study of the oral health of medically healthy male veterans that began in 1968.
The men were 98% non-Hispanic white males ages 26 to 84 at the start.
Information on coffee intake was self-reported by the participants.
Researchers controlled for risk factors such as alcohol consumption, education, diabetes status, body mass index, smoking, frequency of brushing and flossing, and recent periodontal treatment or dental cleanings.
Researchers suggest exploring their findings in a more diverse study population in the future.