Does Alcohol Affect My Smile?
In today’s day in age, moderate alcohol consumption is considered a normal part of an average, healthy lifestyle, even though drinking alcohol isn’t really considered to be all that beneficial.
Alcoholic beverages seem to have a mixed reputation due to both the short-term and long-term effects it has on the body. But one aspect we seem to overlook is the impact it can have on oral health.
Below, you can learn just how much alcohol can affect your teeth, gums, and surrounding tissues.
How Alcohol Consumption Influences Oral Health
Though heavy alcohol intake can affect your body, from your brain to your blood sugar and as your gums, teeth, and soft tissues being apart of your body, it is important to understand how they too can be significantly affected.
With just about anything in life, too much of something can lead to potential problems. The same goes for heavy consumption of alcohol. In fact, alcohol abusers tend to have a much high risk of disease-causing plaque build-up on the surfaces of their teeth and more likely to experience eventual tooth loss if not properly treated.
Beverages such as red wine that contain intense chromogen pigments as well as higher amounts of sugar that can lead to enamel staining and discoloration. Although this may not seem like much to worry about, these pigments attach to enamel and produce an acid that will eat away at the surfaces of teeth.
Drinks such as spirits, dry out the mouth. Saliva is essential for keeping teeth moist while helping remove access plaque and bacteria from the enamel.
It is not uncommon for adults of all ages in the U.S. to experience some form of gum disease in their life. When adding alcohol to the mix, it can have adverse effects on your gums, further aggravating the pre-existing conditions of periodontal disease.
Alcohol slows the production of saliva, which is significant for neutralizing the acidic substances produced by plaque. The accumulation of this calculus can lead to the development of the earliest stages of periodontal disease.
Although severe oral health complications such as oral cancer can have a multitude of contributing factors, alcohol intake is widely considered a major risk factor. All three forms of alcohol (beer, hard liquor, and wine) have been connected to oral cancer, although hard liquor and beer have a higher associated risk.
Through patient education, a strong at-home hygiene routine, watching your alcohol consumption, and bi-annual cleanings and examinations to your dentist, you can substantially prevent the damaging role alcohol plays in your oral health.
Dr. Hubbell Williams of Crossville Dentistry works hard to implement the importance of prevention for maintaining optimal oral health for his patients. If you are looking for comprehensive dentistry with a compassionate approach, contact our dental practice today!