How Consuming Alcohol Affects Oral Health

two glasses of beer on a bar counter

Many people enjoy drinking alcohol, at least occasionally, from a cold beer in the summer to a glass of mulled wine in the winter. But did you know that consuming alcohol can negatively affect your oral health? Here are just a few ways that alcohol can put your dental health at risk:

Sugar

Alcohol is, by its very nature, high in sugar (not to mention it’s also often consumed with sugary drinks like soda and fruit juice). Many alcoholic drinks, like alcoholic cider, actually contain more sugar than your daily allowance. And just like any sugary drink, it coats your teeth and can cause decay and cavities. Additionally, many people might come home from a night of drinking and forget to take proper care of their teeth before they go to bed, adding to the chances that alcohol will hurt your oral health.

Dehydration

Alcohol can cause dehydration, which means that it decreases the amount of saliva in your mouth, making it easier for harmful bacteria to stay on teeth longer and cause decay. Make sure to always drink enough water when you’re drinking alcohol.

Staining

Alcohol can stain your teeth a darker color when it comes into contact with compromised enamel. It’s not just red wine or sangria that will stain, either, even beer and lighter-colored drinks can leave behind a residue.

Risk Factor

The Center for Disease Control says that abusing alcohol is the #2 risk factor for oral cancer. Not only that, but people who overindulge tend to have more plaque on their teeth, and can even suffer from permanent tooth loss. Don’t let this happen to you! Drink in moderation, and make sure to take care of your teeth daily.

If you worry about the effects of alcohol on your oral health and want to speak with a professional, contact our dental office today.

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