The Effects Alcohol Can Have On Your Oral Health

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We all love a glass of wine of an evening. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But when one turns into two, three and four. And “of an evening” turns into twice, three, four times a week then it could be a good time to start questioning your relationship with alcohol.

And while there are many reasons why that question should be asked, predominantly one that revolves around alcohol addiction, that addiction can have severe impacts on relationships, health and more.

However, whether addicted to alcohol or not, alcohol really can cause problems for your oral hygiene. Those problems can come in a number of areas, so if you are a regular drinker, then you may want to take note and pay that little more attention to what’s going on in your mouth…

Cancer 

We’ll start with the ‘big C’. It may be one of the more extreme risks that you face with alcohol consumption, but then again excessive alcohol is one of the biggest risk factors when it comes to developing mouth cancer. 

If you do drink heavily, check for mouth ulcers and if they have not healed within three weeks and are developing red or white patches, then you should get them checked out. 

Tooth Erosion

In the cases of many alcoholic beverages they have a large amount of sugar, particularly those that are mixed with fizzy drinks. This can have a significant impact on tooth decay, while adding a squeeze or slice of lemon can also erode tooth enamel due to the acidity within citrus fruit.

Interestingly, one study also found that red wine can kill bacteria called streptococci which is associated with tooth decay. However, red wine shouldn’t be consumed purely for that reason and the pros are certainly outweighed by the cons.

Staining  

We all want nice white teeth, but that isn’t going to happen with excessive drinking. The colour in beverages comes from chromogens which can stick to tooth enamel and cause teeth to stain.

Red wine and dark mixers with a drink can particularly effect this, and leave your teeth that little bit duller, while the barley and malts found in beers can also have the same sort of effect.

Dryness

Saliva keeps the mouth and teeth moist, removing plaque and bacteria from your teeth in order to protect them. However, alcohol dries the mouth, so for beverages that have higher ABVs, the drier your mouth will become.

It’s important when drinking alcohol to stay hydrated, so drink plenty of water while you do consume the substance.