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A cafe latte is seen on a table at a local specialty coffee shop. How does pumpkin spice affect dental health.

It’s that time of the year again when all things pumpkin-spiced start gracing the shelves. From pumpkin-flavored bagels to Starbucks’ iconic pumpkin spice latte (PSL), the pumpkin frenzy is nearly impossible to dodge.

According to Forbes, in 2015, Americans splurged a staggering $360 million on pumpkin spice-flavored goodies, contributing to what’s now estimated as a colossal $500 million industry.

Now, while the blend of cinnamon and nutmeg in a pumpkin spice latte might seem like a warm hug for your taste buds, it might not be as sweet for the health of your smile. According to Yahoo News, several ingredients in that beloved PSL could actually harm your dental health.

How Does Pumpkin Spice Affect Your Smile?

Before you eagerly sip that pumpkin spice latte, consider this: While it’s often criticized for being a sugary, calorie-rich delight, what many people don’t realize is that it can also wreak havoc on their teeth. Here’s why:

1. A lot of Sugar: Would you believe that an average 16-ounce PSL contains nearly 50 grams of sugar?! The American Heart Association recommends that men should not exceed 36 grams of added sugar per day, and women should stay under 25 grams.

If you’re the kind who savors your PSL over hours, your risk of dental problems is even higher. Repeated exposure to acids due to sugar consumption increases the likelihood of enamel erosion.

2. Acid From Coffee: Besides sugar, think about the acidity in coffee. Coffee is inherently acidic and can spell trouble for your smile if consumed excessively. Many of us have heard our dentist make remarks about “coffee stains” on our teeth.

Just like sugar, coffee shifts the pH balance in your mouth due to its acidic nature. According to TheSkimm, a pH level of 7 is neutral, but tooth decay can kick in when it drops to 5.5. Clearly, the more acidic your mouth, the greater the chances of dental issues like cavities, gum problems, and decay.

Opt for Real Pumpkin to Celebrate This Fall

Perhaps it doesn’t taste as good as the manufactured stuff, but real pumpkin is packed with essential vitamins and minerals, such as zinc, vitamin A, magnesium, and vitamin C, all of which can contribute positively to your dental well-being.

So, remember that moderation is key, and opting for real pumpkin goodness can be a healthier choice for your smile.

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