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News / August 26, 2014

Coffee aids fight against gum disease

by Guy Hiscott

Coffee may combat periodontal bone loss, US researchers say.

Reseachers analysed data from 1,152 men from the US Department of Veterans Affairs Dental Longitudinal Study (DLS) during trienniel dental visits between 1968 and 1998. The DLS is a prospective study of the oral health of medically healthy male veterans.

The study found a ‘small but statistically significant’ reduction in the number of teeth with periodontal bone loss in coffee drinkers.

Dr Nathan Ng, the study’s lead author, says: ‘We found that coffee consumption did not have an adverse effect on periodontal health, and, instead, may have protective effects against periodontal disease.’

The research took risk factors into account, such as alcohol consumption, edcuation, diabetes status, body mass index, smoking, frequency of brushing and flossing, and recent periodontal treatment or dental cleanings.

‘This is the first long-term study of its kind that has investigated the association between coffee consumption and periodontal disease in humans,’ Dr Ng added.

The men were 98% non-Hispanic white males aged 26 to 84. The researchers hope to explore their findings in a more diverse study population in the future.

The study was carried out at Boston University Henry M Goldman School of Dental Medicine, and published in the Journal of Periodontology (August 2014).