A Warning from Your Dentist: The Effects of Alcohol on Teeth

teethExcessive alcohol consumption does not just affect your brain, liver and blood sugar levels. It also affects your gums and teeth, compromising your overall oral health. Alcohol increases plaque levels on teeth, making you three times as likely to suffer from permanent tooth loss.

This is an alarming concern in the country, as a report from the World Health Organisation shows that Britain is among the worst in the world for alcohol intake. If you are one of those who love to consume wine, beer or some other alcoholic drink on a regular basis, you are putting your oral health at risk. Most alcoholic beverages are acidic, and are known to wear away enamel over time.

Teeth Discolouration

Stains are a major problem for those who love alcohol. The colours from such beverages have chromogens that attach to the tooth enamel, staining the teeth. The problem worsens if you like mixing liquor with dark coloured sodas. The acidic component of beer and wine, furthermore, makes the teeth appear yellower because of enamel attacks.

Dry Mouth and Bad Breath

Alcohol also dehydrates your body and mouth, leading to decreased saliva flow. Saliva keeps the mouth moist to remove bacteria, so when the mouth is dry, microorganisms will flourish and cause plaque build-up and bad breath. This will then increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Vogue Dental Care suggests rinsing the mouth with water while you drink alcohol.

Mouth Cancer Risk

The majority of mouth cancer patients, according to Cancer Research UK, frequently drink alcohol. Excessive drinking, along with smoking, increases your risk for up to 30 times. Moderate drinkers need not worry, but binge drinking is a major disease contributor.

Whilst it is perfectly fine to consume alcoholic beverages, don’t make it a habit. Limit your consumption and mix your beverage with still water to spare teeth from acid attacks. It is also advisable to rinse with water while drinking or carry a mouthwash to rinse with.  Regular dental visits are essential to maintain optimum oral health.