You probably like drinking but are unsure about its long-term effects on oral health. Drinking alcohol in moderation is not that bad for your teeth. But focus on the word “not that bad.” If you drink alcohol, it’s essential to understand the risk associated with it. People who suffer from alcohol abuse are prone to develop teeth issues. They often have an increased risk of developing gum disease, decay, tooth loss, mouth ulcers, and higher plaque levels. It also makes you vulnerable to developing oral cancer. If you suffer from alcohol abuse and are looking to limit the addiction or simply want to improve your oral health, consider visiting the Irvine dentist. In the meantime, here’s how alcohol affects your teeth:
While consuming one drink a day isn’t likely to cause gum disease, heavier drinking has a profound impact on your gums. Studies have shown a connection between increased gum disease and alcohol dependence. Researchers have found that alcohol can negatively affect your overall oral health. Consuming alcohol can influence your mouth’s microbiome and can negatively impact your gum health, leading to the development of gingivitis.
As you might already know, bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar and turn it into acid, affecting your teeth’ health. Alcohol contains sugar that helps bacteria thrive. This can lead to enamel weakening, tooth decay, and other issues. So, make sure to choose alcohol with less sugar content if you decide to have a drink.
Alcohol dries your mouth and reduces saliva procedure, preventing you from getting the benefits of saliva. When your mouth dries, you are at more risk of bacteria attacks. The chances of tooth decay and gum disease will also increase. Moreover, dryness in the mouth can cause bad breath, making you embarrassed when you speak close to someone. When you drink alcohol, make sure to sip water or chew on sugar-free gum to help promote saliva flow.
Like coffee and sodas, alcohol can stain your smile. It can make your teeth look yellowish or reddish. To avoid having an unattractive smile, make sure to munch on food while you drink to keep the staining effect in check. It’s advisable to clean your teeth after 30 minutes of consuming alcohol or other teeth-staining beverages and foods.
Excessive consumption of alcohol can increase the risk of developing tooth decay. Like gum disease, dry mouth caused by alcohol can lead to dental decay. This occurs when you don’t have enough saliva to wash away the bacteria in your mouth. Without adequate saliva, plaque can build up, resulting in enamel erosion and tooth decay. Mixing fruits or soda with alcohol will add to this issue, so you’re making it worse if you do this.
Dry mouth is a common side effect of drinking alcohol. It’s because alcohol is a diuretic. Alcohol causes the body to lose more water than it usually does. This means that you will have less water in your mouth and throat. As a result, you will feel thirsty all the time. This can be very annoying. If you drink alcohol regularly, you may not realize how much you are dehydrated.
These acidic and sugary drinks can increase enamel erosion and plaque buildup. When combined with a dry mouth and other adverse effects of alcohol, it can lead to gum disease, decay, and bacteria attacks. The addition of more sugar in the session will make the situation worse. So, if you love drinking alcohol, try to limit your consumption. And whenever you drink it, make sure to brush your teeth and floss between your teeth after 30 minutes. Also, make sure to visit your dentist every six months to keep your oral health in check. Please get in touch with Dr. Jeevan Ghatnekar, DDS, for more information or assistance. We will evaluate your condition and suggest the best possible solution.