Alcohol use is often reserved for the weekends after a long work week for many people. Did you realize, yet, that drinking alcohol might be harmful to your oral health? The basic constituents in most alcoholic beverages result in a high sugar level. This is bad for your oral health. Heavy drinkers are more likely to develop problems like gum disease, tooth decay, and mouth sores. Alcohol usage is the second most common risk factor for oral cancer, which is alarming.
What you consume can have an impact on your teeth. We all know that sugary drinks, acidic sodas, and staining coffee are enemies of your oral health. alcohol is another beverage that can harm your smile. Take a look at how alcohol can impair your healthy mouth if you drink more than the odd beverage.
- Dryness and Dehydration
Drinks with a high alcohol content can make your mouth dry. This is dangerous since saliva keeps the teeth wet. It aids in the removal of plaque and bacteria from the tooth’s surface. Bacteria clings to the enamel when you drink alcohol, increasing your risk of tooth decay.
- Decay of the teeth
Alcohol not only contributes to or accelerates gum disease, but it can also cause dental decay. Alcohol-induced dry mouth, like periodontal disease, can increase the chances of cavities developing. This occurs because your mouth will have less saliva, which has a purpose in your mouth. It removes invading microbes and balances the good and bad bacteria.
Plaque can build up, germs can multiply, and the ensuing acids can erode your enamel. This will cause decay if you don’t have enough saliva to bathe your teeth. If you mix fruit juices or soda with alcohol frequently, you may be contributing to the problem.
Plaque buildup and enamel erosion can be a result of these high-sugar, high-acid beverages. The bacteria in your mouth feed on sweet things, cocktails, or mixed beverages. This can lead to cavities when combined with a dry mouth and the other effects of alcohol. Sugary mix-ins offer the sugar content that the bacteria need. The acidic byproduct erodes your teeth, making them more susceptible to decay.
- Gum diseases
Moderate alcohol use is unlikely to harm your gums. But evidence suggests that heavy drinking can have major consequences. Researchers discovered a link between alcoholism and poor periodontal health. This was in a 2015 study published in the Journal of Periodontology.
Another study published in the journal Microbiome discovered that alcohol can harm oral health. Researchers examined the bacterial composition of the lips of over 1,000 adults in the United States. The researchers saw that alcohol use, particularly excessive drinking, can alter the microbiome of the mouth. This could harm gum health and contribute to the onset of gingivitis.
- Oral cancer
Oral cancer has a link to tobacco use. But alcohol intake might also increase your chances of developing the disease. Antioxidants could be one of the reasons behind this. If you drink a lot, you can have nutritional deficits. This will prevent your body from using antioxidants to fight cancer cells.
- Stained Teeth
What kind of wine or liqueur do you prefer? If the beverage is dark in color, you should be aware that it may discolor your teeth. Drinks with a high tannin content, such as red wine, can also stain your clothes. Even though this isn’t a painful medical condition, it can affect your self-esteem or make you want to clench your lips shut whenever you smile.
Some stains caused by alcohol are transitory, while others are permanent. A single glass of red wine is unlikely to cause tooth decay. However, it can leave a purple or pink stain on your teeth, particularly in little ridges or pits. To avoid this problem, avoid red wines or brush your teeth right after drinking.
Long-term alcohol abuse might lead to a more serious problem. Stains can cling to your teeth over time. You can manage this problem with good brushing. You may need professional aid to whiten your smile or remove stains. This is if you don’t brush or care for your teeth in other ways (such as swishing with mouthwash or flossing).
What you mix alcohol with can have the same effect on your dazzling white smile as it does on tooth damage. Dark drinks, some juices, and thick or colorful syrups (like grenadine) can all stain your teeth. These add-ons also necessitate prompt dental care to remove the stains.
Steps to eradicate the effects of alcohol on your oral health.
When drinking alcohol, it is recommended that you drink water at the same time. This can help you avoid a slew of oral health issues linked to alcohol consumption. Water can not only aid to wash away the acidity, but it can also help to prevent dehydration.
Additionally, when it comes to reducing the amount of sugar in drinks, switching the type of alcohol drank may be useful. Dry wine, for example, can have around 3 grams of sugar. Sweet wine, such as red wine or sherry, on the other hand, can contain up to 8 grams of sugar. A simple substitution could lower the number of hidden sugars taken. Your teeth will appreciate this.
It’s best to visit your dentist if you’re concerned about the impact of alcohol on your dental health. Regular check-ups can ensure that you stay on top of any potential problems.