Sunday, March 1, 2015

Alcohol and Your Teeth

Seeing as how St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday know for “festivities” involving alcohol, let’s take a look at the effects of alcoholic beverages on your teeth.  

Woman with green teeth smiling
For this month’s blog topic, we’ll take a look at how alcohol can affect your entire oral cavity, including your gums and teeth.  

Most alcoholic beverages contain a large amount of sugars and acids which are harmful to your mouth.  Acids in these beverages can demineralize/soften your teeth, and when sugars combine with natural bacteria in the mouth they also form an acid that attacks enamel. 

This is especially true when the teeth are constantly exposed to sugars and starches in alcohol without any breaks.

Much like smoking, alcohol can also dry out your mouth. Because saliva is a powerful tool in reducing the incidence of cavities and maintaining a proper pH in your oral cavity, a dry mouth can accelerate the damage caused by the sugar in alcohol.

Heavy drinking can lead to:
  • Irritation of the gums, tongue and other oral tissues
  • Poor healing following a  dental surgery
  • Poor overall dental hygiene habits
  • Increase in tooth decay
  • Increase risk of periodontal (gum) disease

We at Beachside Dental hope everyone has a happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day, and enjoys the first month of Spring!