Who doesn’t love a nice cold beer, or a glass of wine to wind down after a long day of work? Maybe you prefer to enjoy happy hour drinks with coworkers or weekend day drinking. Regardless of a person's preference, alcohol consumption can greatly affect the health of the teeth. With proper cleanings and daily routines, alcohol does not have to pose a negative effect on the smile! Here are some reasons that a person may want to reconsider excessively drinking alcohol.
Alcohol is made through the process of fermentation. Fermentation simply is the process in which yeast breaks down sugars. Sugar is detrimental to the teeth because it promotes tooth decay, and bacteria thrives from sugar being present.
Luckily, there are plenty of alcoholic beverages that one can choose from that are healthy, contain less sugar, and most importantly still have a nice kick to it! According to Dr. Mike Roussell, a typical dry white wine weighing in at roughly 3 grams of sugar per 5-ounce serving, relative to a whopping 8 grams of sugar for a glass of sweet red wine, sherry or port. In this case, the white wine may be the better option.
Another way alcohol consumption can affect the teeth is by creating visible stains. Depending on how often and dark the drinks that are being consumed are, they may greatly affect how stained the teeth will become, especially if there is no daily routine cleaning. Discoloration by drinking alcohol over long periods of time can result in deeper, longer-lasting staining that will also leave the teeth very dull-like.
As many alcohol consumers can attest, drinking can lead to a dry mouth. Consumption of alcohol tends to limit the amount of saliva that the mouth can produce. When there is more sugar present in the mouth, this leads to bacterial growth, which leads to tooth decay. The American Dental Association warns that one of the often-forgotten side effects of alcohol can be just as damaging to the teeth: dehydration.
On your next night out to enjoy a drink, remember to also bring or ask for water to keep the mouth moist and swish away any lingering sugars that are left on the teeth. Another great way to increase saliva in the mouth is by chewing sugar-free gum or eating a mint. After returning home, make it a priority to brush and floss the teeth to remove any existing stains or food particles.
Should you limit your alcohol consumption?
A person can consume alcohol and still have amazing oral health. This means that a person can still have fun, drink responsibly and enjoy the night. If you have any concerns about consuming alcohol and your oral health we are here to help. Contact our professional staff today, we will be more than happy to assist with any questions you have.
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