ALCOHOL CAN CAUSE A NUMBER OF ORAL AND DENTAL PROBLEMS:
Stained Teeth – You might already be aware that red wine can stain teeth, but you may not know that all kinds of alcohol can stain the teeth and cause damage. The staining is caused because by the acidity in your wine or beer. It can compromise the tooth enamel and allow the chromogens present in the drink to get attached to the teeth; this can eventually cause staining. The stains will become worse as time goes by, especially if you don’t get regular whitening and cleaning done.
Regular consumption along with whitening will eventually weaken the enamel of the teeth enough to make them sensitive and permanently stained. You can avoid this by drinking wine or beer through a straw, which minimizes the amount of contact with your teeth.
Sugar Content – Alcohol contains significant amounts of sugar, even if you don’t notice it at first. The bacteria in your mouth thrives on sugar, so excessive consumption will increase the likelihood of cavities and tooth decay. While modern dentists can fix decay and cavities with different dental and cosmetic procedures, it’s a good idea to preserve your natural teeth for as long as you can.
Dryer, white wines like brut champagne have less sugar content and therefore aren’t as likely to cause tooth decay, while sweet and heavy red wine like port or sherry are high in sugar. If you like wine, try a dry white for the lower sugar content (and higher alcohol content!).
Dehydration – While your teeth might feel solid and bone-like, they require moisture to remain healthy. Your mouth also needs to remain hydrated and have a constant flow of saliva. Most people have normal saliva production and that helps maintain an optimal moisture level in the mouth. However, excessive alcohol consumption will impact the flow of saliva and dry out your mouth. This gives bacteria an opportunity to cling to teeth and cause decay because your saliva didn’t wash them away.
The moisture also helps keep plaque at bay, so excessive alcohol consumption leads to decay and increased plaque. A great way to avoid this is to alternate between your alcoholic drink and water. This will ensure your mouth has an optimal moisture level and it helps limit your consumption as well. Staying hydrated and consuming water will also help with dry mouth and unpleasant hangovers.
SOME ALCOHOL CAN BE BENEFICIAL
Research suggests that red wine kills oral bacteria called streptococci. This bacteria causes tooth decay so moderate amounts of red wine can be beneficial. However, this wine stains the teeth and drinking red wine in excessive amounts can be detrimental to your oral and physical health. As mentioned earlier, some red wines have high sugar levels and that can cause health problems as well.
It’s a good idea to avoid alcohol or consume it in moderation if you want to maintain your oral health. If you drink alcohol regularly, be diligent about your visits to the dentist. They will ensure your teeth and gums are in good condition and correct any damage caused by the drinks early. You can also have dental veneers installed to protect your teeth from plaque, stains, and sugar. Proper oral hygiene and control over the amount of alcohol you consume will help you save your teeth.