If coffee stains your teeth and Dr. Wells is all about teeth whitening, you may wonder why he keeps a gourmet coffee machine in his lobby. New research from the American Cancer Society found that drinking more than four coups of caffeinated coffee a day results in almost half the risk of dying from mouth or throat cancers. Dr. Wells advises, “White teeth are great and we certainly promote clean teeth and breath but mouth and throat cancer are at the top of our list for prevention.” He added, “We found this study significant and want to let our patients know about this simple daily habit that could be good for them.” The study compared people that drank four or more cups of coffee per day to those who do not drink coffee.
Cancer researchers tested close to one million people and followed their progress over a 26 year period. Of those million, only 868 people died from mouth and throat cancers.
Researchers warned that people should not take this as an excuse to start drinking coffee 24 hours a day, but it does mean that coffee lovers can all feel a little less guilty about the early morning cup.
Mouth and throat cancers are especially dangerous to humans as they are difficult to diagnose in the early stages. Early symptoms are often overlooked or dismissed as toothaches or other minor issues. Many of the symptoms of these cancers do not appear until the cancer is into the advanced stages, and the treatment options are fewer and less helpful than early treatment. If mouth and throat cancers can be prevented with a simple cup of coffee every morning, then the trip to Starbucks is well worth the time and money.
As research continues, scientists hope to determine exactly what it is about coffee that may help reduce the risk of these cancers. This knowledge may eventually be used to develop treatments and preventatives for cancers without having to drink coffee, or we may be able to definitively claim that coffee, if taken regularly, will prevent cancer. In the mean time, we know that there is a positive correlation between drinking coffee and a reduction in cancer, so be sure to get in your four cups a day!
For more information on help with treating and preventing oral cancers, please contact Dr. James A. Wells of South Charlotte Dentistry, and try making an appointment with us today!