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Effects Of Alcohol On Our Oral Health

Medikoe Health Expert

Medikoe Health Expert

  Koramangala, bengaluru, karnataka, india, Bengaluru     Feb 9, 2017

   6 min     


Our teeth come across various edible and drinkable items day and night. Where few of them can contribute to its wellbeing, others are there for a reverse effect. But do you give a second thought about when and how the condition of your teeth deteriorates? Or do you ever think about the ill-effect alcohol has on your teeth while you enjoy it? Well, no right!

Alcohol is not just bad for your health but also your teeth. But the good news is it is possible to stop or reverse a few of the dental condition that alcohol is responsible for.

How alcohol effects on our oral health?

Most of us know that sugary drinks, sweets & not taking proper care are harmful to our teeth. But less of us are aware of the side effects of alcohol on our teeth. The risk of oral cancer is six times higher in those who drink alcohol compared to non-drinkers. 

Staining- Color in drinks comes from chromogens, which effects tooth enamel and compromised by the acid in alcohol, stains teeth. According to health experts dark colored soft drinks, beer & red wine can stain or discolor the teeth. 

Dryness- Alcohol dry out the mouth. Where saliva helps to remove plaque and bacteria from the tooth’s surface.

Moderate alcohol consumption can be part of a healthy lifestyle, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines reasonable alcohol use as one drink a day for women and no more than two drinks for men. People with drinking alcohol habits tend to have higher plaque levels. 

What is alcohol tooth decay?

Too much of anything is not right; therefore; too much of alcohol can cause your tooth to decay. As we know, saliva keeps our teeth moist and also helps in eradicating plaque and bacteria from the tooth’s surface or oral space. Studies suggest that high consumption of alcohol (spirits) results in the dryness of the mouth and decreasing the quantity of saliva. It results in plaque formation and teeth/tooth decay. That is why dentists are the first healthcare practitioners to identify the abuses caused by alcohol and drug consumption. 

Tips for dealing with Alcohol Tooth Decay

  • Use a straw while drinking an alcoholic beverage.

  • Brush and floss as soon as possible.

  • Speak to your doctor about getting help if you think that you are addicted to alcohol.

It also helps in repairing early signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral infections. 

Do you know which other foods are harmful to your oral health?

We are what we eat, a central part of your oral health starts with your teeth. So do you know which food effect negatively on your teeth health? Here are some food and drinks that are harmful to your oral health- 

  1. Sour Candies- We start hearing from childhood that doesn’t eat candies; teeth will go wrong and rot. But do you know sour candy contains different kinds of acids that are tougher on your teeth? And, also as we chew candies, they stick to our teeth for a long time, so they’re more harmful. If you want to eat something sweet, then go for chocolate. Which is also not good for dental health, but it does not take long to chew and wash. 

  2. Bread- Is it surprising? As we all know, bread are healthy for us. But not as good as you think. When you eat bread, you chew it; then your saliva breaks down the starches into sugar. And then, transformed into a gummy paste-like substance, which sticks to the crevices between teeth. 

  3. Alcohol- We are all aware of the fact that drinking alcohol isn’t good for our health. But here we are talking about oral health. So, what exactly alcohol does to our mouth? Have you ever realized that when you drink, you dry out your mouth? We need saliva to keep our teeth healthy, but dry mouth treats our teeth negatively. Saliva prevents food from sticking to our teeth and washes away food particles. 

  4. Carbonated Drinks- The first question that came into our mind was which drinks are carbonated? And how is it harmful? So, Carbonated beverages are beverages that contain dissolved carbon dioxide. The dissolution of carbon dioxide in a liquid gives rise to fizz or effervescence and also is colourless and flavourless. For example, we Mountain Dew, Pepsi & Coca-Cola. A recent study found that drinking large quantities of carbonated soda could be as damaging as using crack cocaine and methamphetamine. It enables plaque to produce more acid to attack tooth enamel.

  5. Ice- Is it awkward? Because ice is all water. So, it should be fine to chew ice. According to the American Dental Association, Chewing hard substance can damage enamel and can also result in chipped, cracked, broken teeth or loosened crowns. We can use ice to chill drinks but don’t chew it. Also, try to drink beverages without ice.

  6. Citrus- We all know that citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C., But they have acid content that can erode enamel, and make our teeth more vulnerable. Even drinking water with lemon makes our drink acidic. If you want to drink such things, drink in moderation at the meantime and rinse with water afterwards.

  7. Dried Fruits- We all count it as healthy snacks, and it is true. But many of them like apricots, figs, prunes and raisins. Which are sticky and get stuck and cling in the teeth and their crevices with a lot of sugar. Here you can take little prevention, make sure you rinse your mouth with water, and then brush and floss after.

  8. Potato Chips- Everyone’s favourite, right? Unfortunately, they’re full of starch, which becomes sugar. And, you know what sugar does to our teeth. 

Home Remedies for Tooth Decay/ Cavities

  1. Vitamin D-  It helps in absorbing calcium and phosphate from the food we eat. There is an inverse relationship between eating foods with Vitamin D and calcium. 

  2. Fluoride Toothpaste- Fluoride prevents cavities and remineralizing enamel. Use fluoride toothpaste in daily life routine.

  3. Sugarfree Gum- Chewing Sugar free gum after eating food can remineralize enamel.

  4. Oil Pulling- Ancient Practices in ayurveda shows oil pulling with sesame oil and clove oil reduces bacteria in the mouth and reduces plaque.

  5. Avoid Sugary Foods-  Sugar is the most important risk factor for cavities and tooth decay. Reduce your sugar intake to less than 10 percent of total caloric intake of the day. 

Our daily routines/habits are very important for our overall health, which includes oral health. See your dentist at least twice a year. Even after taking all precautionary measures, you need to see a dentist regularly. 

Are you looking for a dentist around you? 

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Tags:  Dental treatments,tooth,tooth decay,alcohol,oral health, alcohol tooth decay

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ManPreet Dhillon
ManPreet Dhillon |  December 15th, 2017

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