How Bad Are Pumpkin Spice Lattes for your Dental Health?

When it comes to October, three things come to mind: Halloween, Fall, and, of course, PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte)! Whether from Starbucks, McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, or even your office breakroom, the delectable aroma of pumpkin spice and coffee is everywhere to be found. Something so good and delicious can’t be that bad, can it?

PSL is a sweet concoction that blends the sweet, savory, and delicious taste of pumpkin with everyone’s morning favorite of coffee to keep your hearts full and your body warm each autumn season. However, there are unhealthy underlying effects that affect your teeth and gums. Here are two reasons why Pumpkin Spice Lattes are not so sweet to your dental health, and what you can do to still enjoy your PSL while keeping your teeth healthy.

Harm 1: Excess Sugar

Pumpkin Spice Latte is filled with lots of different sugars that are all harmful to your teeth. When it comes to your teeth, you should always watch your sugar intake since sugar can easily advance oral issues like tooth decay and gum disease.

How does Sugar Cause Tooth Decay?

In your mouth, there are hundreds of bacteria that are surprisingly beneficial to your mouth.  However, certain harmful bacteria in your mouth feed on sugars to create acids. When sugars in foods or drinks come in contact with the harmful bacteria, this causes bacteria deposits to form that release acid. These acids attack the enamel coating on your teeth and can also permanently damage your gums. Eventually, if the acid remains on your teeth, it will cause cavities, which if left untreated can create holes in your teeth and progress past the enamel to cause pain or eventual tooth loss.

Harm 2: Stained Teeth

You’ve probably heard that coffee stains your teeth before, but probably haven’t been told how. Unfortunately, Pumpkin Spice Latte and other coffee will stain your teeth over time, but this process can be prevented. Here’s how coffee stains your teeth and how to stop this from happening.

How does Coffee Cause Stained Teeth?

When gliding and touching your finger over your teeth, the tooth enamel seems to be a smooth layer over the teeth. However, in reality, there are several microscopic pits, holes, and ridges all over your teeth. These holes can trap tiny bacteria particles from food and drinks as they pass through your mouth, and store them until the bacteria is removed. Food and drinks that are dark in color or simply damaging to your teeth (like coffee) will stain your tooth enamel as the bacteria particles are allowed to sit within those holes, giving your teeth the stained, yellow look.

How Can I Prevent Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Staining My Teeth?

Don’t worry, we understand that going through the fall without at least one Pumpkin Spice Latte is completely unreasonable. So, we’re here to tell you how you can still enjoy your Pumpkin Spice Lattes while also keeping your teeth healthy and sparkling white. Here’s how:

Keep Your Teeth Clean!

When it comes to the sugar in Pumpkin Spice Latte, one of the best ways to combat the effects of tooth decay and other oral issues is to regularly and thoroughly brush your teeth every day, twice a day. Brushing and flossing your teeth cleanses your mouth of the harmful bacteria stuck on your teeth and significantly reduces any chances of staining or oral issues. However, a general brushing typically only removes about 40% of all the plaque and bacteria in your mouth, which is why having your bi-annual teeth cleaning is so important. Dental hygienists are able to reach those tough crevices that a toothbrush can’t reach and thoroughly rid your mouth of plaque and harmful bacteria, subsequently eliminating the chance of tooth decay, cavities, and stains.

Teeth Whitening

The fall is never complete without a PSL, and sometimes, your teeth, unfortunately, suffer the effects of this sweet and satisfying necessity. Don’t worry, Beavers Dentistry offers various teeth whitening cosmetic dentistry procedures that will get your smile back to sparkling white for weeks, or even months! With a safe and efficient peroxide agent, Dr. Keith or Dr. Wayne will carefully apply a safe and effective treatment to your teeth based on your desired shade of white.

Prevent Any Staining By Scheduling Your Teeth Cleaning Appointment Today!

Pumpkin Spice Latte is a good drink to keep you warm during the colder months; however, it can be harmful to your teeth. Fortunately, you can still enjoy it by simply drinking it in moderation, and, of course, scheduling your teeth cleaning with our experienced team at Beavers Dentistry today! Give us a call at 919-467-0654 for your teeth cleaning or teeth whitening, or fill out our online contact form.