Have you had a pumpkin spice latte this season yet?
As we head into this cozy season, all things pumpkin flavored will soon hit the shelves! From pumpkin-flavored bagels to Starbucks’ famous pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin mania is nearly impossible to avoid this season.
Since Starbucks launched the PSL back in 2003, the flavor has quickly gained a cult following and is responsible for fueling an entire seasonal-based industry. According to Forbes, Americans spent $360 million on pumpkin spice-flavored treats in 2015, contributing to what is estimated as a $500 million industry.
Although pumpkin spice combines a delicious mix of cinnamon and nutmeg, it’s not so sweet for the health of your smile! In fact, several ingredients found in the popular pumpkin spice latte can actually harm your dental health.
What Does Pumpkin Spice do to Your Smile?
Think twice before indulging in a pumpkin spice latte this fall! While pumpkin spice has received some heat for being unhealthy and calorie-dense, many patients are surprised to find out that it can also damage their teeth. Pumpkin spice lattes can harm your smile due to several of its ingredients, including:
Excess Sugar: Did you know that the average 16-ounce PSL contains nearly 50 grams of sugar!? According to the American Heart Association, men should not exceed 27 grams of added sugar per day and women should not exceed 25 grams per day.
Aside from the obvious overall health concerns of consuming a beverage with nearly twice the daily recommended sugar, it also has serious implications on the health of your smile. When we consume the latte, harmful bacteria in the mouth will feed upon the sugars and create an acid that wears down the enamel, spurring on the development of dental cavities.
If you’re the type of coffee drinker that sips on their PSL over the course of hours, you’re at an even higher risk for dental problems. Repeatedly exposing your teeth to acids due to sugar consumption will increase your risk for enamel erosion.
Acid From Coffee: In addition to acidity from the sugar in a pumpkin spice latte, you also have to consider the acidity from coffee. Coffee by nature is an acidic beverage and can mean big trouble for your smile if consumed excessively.
As with sugar consumption, drinking coffee alters the pH balance in the mouth due to its acidic nature. A pH level of 7 is neutral and tooth decay can begin to occur when the pH level in the mouth is 5.5. Obviously, the more acidic the mouth is, the higher the risk for dental problems like cavities, gum disease, and decay.
Opt for Real Pumpkin to Celebrate This Fall
Now, we’re not saying that you have to swear off all pumpkin-related foods this season. As a matter of fact, eating real pumpkin is an excellent way to enjoy the numerous health benefits this vitamin-packed squash provides. Whether you bake it or blend it up in a smoothie, pumpkin can be a great additional boost for your dental health.
Some of the vitamins and minerals that can benefit your smile include:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
Contact Precision Dentistry & Implants
From all of us here at Precision Dentistry & Implants, we wish you a wonderful start to the fall season! And as always, we’re here to assist you with any of your dental needs ranging from something as simple as a dental cleaning to extensive services like restorative treatment.
To learn more about our dental services, contact our office today to schedule your next appointment with Dr. Huff!