Results showed that coffee intake helped lower the total number of teeth with periodontal bone loss.Tom Newby/Flickr

Regular consumption of coffee can lower risk of gum disease, says a new study.

Gum disease is a condition when the formation of plaques on the teeth starts affecting gum's health, making it swollen, sore and infected.

Its initial stage known as gingivitis causes bleeding while brushing the teeth and leads to bad breath. When left untreated, the condition progresses on to the next level termed as periodontitis, which badly affects tissues that keep teeth in its proper place. The condition leads to bone decay and tooth loss. Scaling, polishing, root planing and periodontal surgery are some methods used to treat this condition.

Bad bacteria in mouth play a huge role in this condition. These bacteria stick together and form into communities called biofilms. They start damaging the teeth by building plaque and producing acid. Though growth of these bacterial plaques can be managed with regular brushing or using fluoride toothpaste, these methods succeed only to a certain extent.

The study looked at nearly 1,152 men, aged between 26 and 84, part of the US Department of Veterans Affairs Dental Longitudinal Study (DLS). The majority (98 percent) of the participants were non-Hispanic white males. The data included information on participants' oral health and prevalence of coffee consumption.

The study also looked at certain factors that pose risk to oral health, including smoking, alcohol addiction, diabetes, BMI, frequent brushing and flossing. Apart from these, the details of periodontal treatment, educational status and dental visits were also taken into consideration.

Results showed that coffee intake helped to lower the total number of teeth with periodontal bone loss. Investigation conducted by researchers from the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine identified that antioxidants in coffee mainly contributed to this occurrence.

"We found that coffee consumption did not have an adverse effect on periodontal health, and, instead, may have protective effects against periodontal disease," lead author of the study Nathan Ng, said in a news release. "This is the first long-term study of its kind that has investigated the association between coffee consumption and periodontal disease in humans."

Findings of the study have been published in Journal of Periodontology.

How to Prevent Gum Disease: Some Additional Tips from NHS Choices

  • Brush teeth twice daily
  • Use electric toothbrush
  • Use fluoride –based toothpaste
  • Floss regularly
  • Clean teeth through regular visits to the dentist
  • Stop smoking
  • Use antiseptic mouthwashes with chlorhexidine or hexetidine