The Effects of Alcohol on Your Teeth

Enamel is the strongest material in your body, stronger than your bones. Yet certain foods and drinks can have a deleterious effect on the teeth. More specifically, alcohol can adversely affect your enamel and your overall oral health.

If you are a beer drinker, you would be wise to know that dark beer stains your teeth as well as aids in the break-down of your enamel. Fortunately, being aware of the negative effects of alcohol on your teeth allows you to stop any damage before it is too late.

How does alcohol affect your teeth?

Unfortunately, most alcoholic beverages are acidic. Any drink with a pH level 5.5 or less is considered acidic. Some types of vodka are more basic which is much easier on the enamel. Even so, any type of alcohol dehydrates your body which leads to a dry mouth and leaves your teeth vulnerable to bacteria. Alcohol is a danger to your oral health in the following ways:

  • Acid-Forming

When teeth are exposed to alcohol, an acid is left on the enamel which aids in enamel decay.

  • Dehydrating

Whenever you become dehydrated, your mouth dries out. A dry mouth leaves an environment that allows bacteria to thrive in the absence of saliva.

  • Staining

Drinks that are darker in color such as red wine and dark beer can cause staining.

  • High Sugar Content

Drinks high in sugar content allow bacteria to thrive in the mouth and multiply.

  • Citrus-Related Damage

If a citrus fruit is used in your drink, the acid from the juice can be very harsh on the teeth. The acidity from the fruit causes enamel erosion.

How can you prevent enamel erosion when drinking alcohol?

Dentists recommend that you drink a glass of water with every alcoholic beverage that you have. Drinking water will help to moisten your mouth and rinse away acids from the alcohol. Drinking in moderation is another way to ensure that you’re not causing too much harm to your oral health- and your overall health.

How will I know if my teeth are damaged?

Make sure to visit your dentist regularly. He or she will be able to examine your mouth thoroughly to assess current damage and devise a plan to treat it. Depending on the extent of damage, you may need to take simple prophylactic measures such as protecting against sensitivity with a specially formulated toothpaste. In the case of severe erosion, fillings may be advised and/or crowns may need to be placed.

If you have been experiencing heightened tooth sensitivity, it could be due to enamel erosion. Remember, teeth cannot heal themselves. Once the damage is done, it has to be treated by a professional.

At Advanced DDS we provide reliable and superior quality dentistry. We are conveniently located in Garden City, NY, across from Roosevelt Field Mall. (Located near Mineola, Westbury, Levittown, Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Valley Stream, Hempstead, Carle Place, Farmingdale, Massapequa, Bethpage, East Meadow, Melville, Brookville, New Hyde Park and Great Neck.) Call 516-825-1100 to schedule your dental appointment with a Long Island dentist.

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