Moderate alcohol consumption can be part of a healthy lifestyle, but when you drink more than you should, your overall health an oral health can be badly affected.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define moderate alcohol consumption as one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men. Alcohol abuse is the second most common cause of oral cancer. Heavy drinkers are more exposed to gum disease, tooth decay, mouth sores and missing teeth. The incidence of tooth decay is a big problem due to the sugar and acids that are in alcoholic drinks. A glass of wine can dry out your mouth, suck the calcium of your teeth, and leave you with bad breath.
Studies have shown that people who suffer from alcohol dependency tend to have higher plaque levels on their teeth and are more likely to suffer from permanent tooth loss.
When you choose a heavily colored alcohol, you can end up with stained teeth. Red wine, sangria and similar drinks (those who are darker in color) can also result in long-last discoloration of your teeth by exposed the dentin underneath, which is a darker, yellower shade. If teeth are stained, this may be removed by brushing, but do not over-brush because you will brush away more enamel and make them look even worse. If heavy staining will not disappear, we can do a professional whitening for you.
Drinks rich in sugar are very harmful for your teeth. This is because bacteria in your mouth feeds off this sugar and release acids, which result in tooth decay. If you have an acidic or sugary drink, wait at least half an hour before brushing your teeth. This will allow the surface of the enamel to harden up and stop you eroding it by brushing.
Alcohol consumption leads to a decrease in saliva flow. Saliva keeps teeth moist and helps to remove plaque and bacteria from the tooth’s surface. Plaque will lead to bad breath. In order to avoid this, drink a lot of water.
Alcohol and gum disease
Researchers found out that drinking may increase the risk of gum disease. And it also can aggravate the periodontal disease. Individuals who drink a lot require additional periodontal treatment.
Floss regularly, brush twice a day and regularly visit your dentist to maintain under control your periodontal disease.
Alcohol and mouth cancer
Drinking alcohol to excess is a major risk factor linked with mouth cancer. Moderation is really important and an occasional glass of wine is much better than drinking the whole bottle. If you also smoke, there is a bigger problem. Those who smoke and drink alcohol to excess increase their risk of mouth cancer by up to 30 times. It is very important to visit your dentist regularly so he can examine your mouth.
As a conclusion, alcohol can do a lot of damage to your teeth and mouth. Drink alcohol moderately and do not forget to drink water in order to increase the saliva flow and to avoid dehydration. For any questions, Dr. Arhiri is here to help you. 610.647.7611 is the phone number you can reach us.