Most people would agree that a drink every once in awhile or a couple at a social gathering can be a relaxing or fun experience. However, not everyone drinks the same amount, and while in moderation alcoholic beverages don’t cause much damage to your oral health, excessive amounts of drinking or frequent “partying too hard” can lead to some serious detrimental effects on your teeth.
Negative Effects On Oral Health
- High Sugar Content — It can be easy to forget while drinking that many alcoholic beverages can have high amounts of sugar in them to help sweeten the drink. Mixed drinks, wine, and beer all contain fair amounts of sugar in them. This can be easy to forget because most people focus more on the alcohol content than sugar content of their beverage while drinking. Large amounts of sugar can lead to the deterioration of teeth by plaque over extended periods of time.
- Acidity — Like the sugar content of most alcoholic beverages, acidity in these drinks is generally fairly high. Consider mixed drinks which often contain sodas or citrus juices as the non-alcoholic component. The acid content of these drinks can eat away at your teeth. Wine, too, with a slightly “bitter” taste is indicative of an acidic substance coming in contact with your teeth.
- Increased Occurrence of Vomiting — Anyone who’s had too hard of night out on the town knows how a night of binge drinking often ends. When frequent alcohol usage ends in vomiting it puts your teeth in contact with the highly acidic gastric acid your body produces more often, decaying the teeth.
- Promotes Dry Mouth — Most seasoned drinkers know it’s important to replenish your fluids, because alcohol tends to cause heightened incidences of dry mouth. This is because alcohol often leads to less saliva production. Saliva is necessary to nullify the acidity and perform basic “cleaning” functions of your teeth, if you don’t produce enough saliva because of frequent drinking, you may find yourself with a mouthful of cavities.
If you have any questions regarding alcohol usage and its effects on teeth, or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. D’Alfonso, contact the Lakeway Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry today.