The Effects of Alcohol on Your Overall Oral Health
Posted on 1/11/2021 by Pine Belt Periodontics
Drinking alcohol can affect your oral health to an extent that it can lead to some serious dental problems, including gum disease and decay. That is because alcohol has a drying effect on the gingival tissues. When this occurs, the bad germs that lead to halitosis, decay, and infections tend to accumulate.
Why Drinking Does Not Mix Well with Oral Care
Drinks with alcohol can impede the natural flow of saliva, making it hard for remineralization of the teeth to occur. With less saliva flowing, it is harder to wash away the food naturally that leads to tooth decay and gingival infections. Add to that the fact that alcohol, such as beer, stains the enamel. Beer is acidic. Therefore, the malts and barley found in the brew can lead to a discolored smile. Substances, called chromogens, attach to the enamel of teeth that have been damaged by the acid in an alcoholic beverage. In turn, the lack of a saliva flow causes damage that extends beyond the margin of the gum, creating recession and pockets.
How Alcohol Damages the Gums
When there is a build-up of bacteria, plaque, and tartar, the gums start to bleed and recede. Gum recession exposes the roots of a tooth and destroys the bone as well. Therefore, alcohol, when regularly consumed, can do some real damage to the enamel and gums. Moreover, mouthwashes with alcohol also have the same effect. To experience better periodontal health, you should make it a policy to completely stay away from anything containing alcohol. Not only does alcohol dry out the mouth, but it also increases your risk for getting oral cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals who abuse alcohol have higher levels of plaque on their teeth and regularly are diagnosed with oral cancer.
Do you have dental concerns that are related to alcohol consumption? If so, you need to address them immediately. Give us a call today to learn more about receiving periodontal treatments related to dry mouth or gum disease.