Alcohol

Posted by Default Admin on 28 September 2015

The health concerns associated with alcohol are widely known but its effect on your teeth is often given less attention. Here, we outline some of the keys fact that you should know about this effect.

Tooth Erosion

Because of the acidic content of alcoholic drinks, frequent drinking can erode the outer surface of the teeth and lead to a loss of tooth enamel. If you don't want to entirely cut out alcohol, try adding ice or water to your drinks to dilute the acidic effect upon your teeth. This loss of tooth enamel will discolour teeth by removing the white enamel and exposing the dentine underneath, this tends to be a darker shade which is closer to yellow.

Staining

By drinking darkly coloured alcoholic drinks such as red wine, you also run the risk of staining your teeth. To avoid this, make sure to brush your teeth thoroughly after drinking. If you are still concerned, please consult us about teeth whitening options.

Bad Breath

Because alcohol dehydrates you, it reduces the flow of saliva in your mouth. Because saliva helps to fight the bacteria surrounding your teeth and gums, this gives them a chance to flourish. As a result of this, a build-up of plaque becomes likely and one of the results of this is bad breath.

Sugar

Alcoholic drinks often contain high levels of sugar. Bacteria in our mouth then use this as a source of energy, releasing acid as they do so and so increasing the risk of tooth erosion discussed above. Opting for sugar-free drinks help reduce this risk.

Oral Cancer

Alcohol misuse has been linked to an increased risk of developing mouth cancer. According to Cancer Research UK, 75-80% of mouth cancer patients say they frequently drink alcohol. If you are a smoker, the combination of this and drinking alcohol increases this risk - the NHS says that 'it's estimated that heavy drinkers and smokers have a 38 times increased risk of developing mouth cancer than people who neither drink nor smoke'.

If you are concerned about the effects of alcohol on your teeth, please call us on 01443 887564 to discuss your concerns or book an appointment.