Alcohol consumption can be dangerous for your health for many reasons, but its effects on oral health are not discussed as often. Here are a few ways that alcohol affects your teeth.
- Tooth Decay
- Oral Cancer
- Watch Out for Alcohol in Dental Products
Alcohol is acidic and some alcoholic beverages also contain high amounts of sugar. Sugar can damage your teeth because the bacteria that live on your teeth feed off of sugar, releasing more acid that eats away at your enamel. This is in addition to the acid that alcohol already contains! If you don’t take proper care of your oral health, bacteria can easily penetrate your teeth, causing widespread decay.
Given that alcohol contributes to increased bacteria production and tooth decay, it isn’t surprising that most people who abuse alcohol tend to have higher amounts of plaque than those who do not.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol consumption increases your risk for mouth cancer. Even just one drink a day increases your risk of developing cancer!
Because alcohol is so acidic, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can sometimes lead to vomiting, which in turn harms your esophagus and erodes your tooth enamel because of its highly acidic contents.
It’s not just the alcohol we drink that affects teeth either! Some people swear by alcohol-based mouthwashes because of the intense burning sensation that makes them feel like it’s working. But these mouthwashes could potentially increase your risk of oral cancer. You don’t need to feel anything to know that your mouthwash is working, so go with an alcohol-free alternative.
How Can I Curb the Effect of Alcohol on My Oral Health?
The best way to ensure alcohol doesn’t harm your oral health is to trade out alcoholic and sugary beverages for healthier snacks and drinks. However, if you do not want to stop consuming alcohol altogether, there are ways to help limit alcohol’s negative effects on your teeth:
- Maintain a consistent schedule of brushing (twice a day for two minutes each time) and flossing (at least daily)
- Drink water along with your alcoholic beverage to help wash away the sugar and acids in your mouth
- Visit Drs. Joseph and Gabrielle Ramellini twice a year to keep your mouth healthy!
Keep optimal oral health by visiting Peak Dentistry for your routine cleaning and exam. We invite you to see the difference in our practice and our wide range of high-quality treatment options. Get in touch with us to schedule your next dental appointment today!Contact Us