Are You A Binge Drinker? Know How Alcohol Can Cause Damage To Your Teeth

Posted on: 11 July 2016

When you consume too much of something, chances are that it will have a negative effect on your body in some way. While many people are aware of the dangers of alcohol, you may not know the effect it can have on your oral health. Be aware of these four potential problems.

Dry Mouth

Consuming alcohol is a cause of xerostomia, a condition associated with dry mouth. It reduces the amount of saliva you produce, which can make you feel dehydrated. This negatively affects your oral health because your mouth needs saliva to help remineralize the teeth, as well as wash away all the bacteria in your mouth that can cause tooth decay to occur. Dry mouth can be mitigated by drinking water along with alcohol.

Enamel Erosion

For those that tend to excessively drink until they throw up, know that vomiting isn't healthy for your oral health. Stomach acid will wash over your teeth when throwing up, which erodes the enamel. In addition to the acidic content of vomit causing damage, alcohol is also acidic, contributing to the erosion of enamel. Overall, you'll be at a higher risk of tooth decay.

You can lower your chances of vomiting by eating food before you drink, consuming clear fluids once you are done drinking, and chewing sugarless gum to help remove the acids inside your mouth. At the very least, rinse out your mouth using water after vomiting if you cannot brush your teeth right away.

Tooth Decay

Many kinds of alcoholic drinks do contain sugar, even if you are unable to taste it because of the stronger ingredients used to make the drink. If you're frequently drinking alcohol, it could be just as bad as frequently consuming soda.

The bacteria inside your mouth feed on sugar, which creates the acids that cause damage to your teeth, eventually leading to cavities. Once again, drinking plenty of water, chewing on sugarless gum, as well as brushing will help remove the sugar in your mouth. If not, you are putting yourself more at risk of forming cavities.

Gum Disease

A 2003 study found that there was a correlation between patients being in an alcoholic rehab center and having gum disease. This could be due to simply not taking care of their oral health, and when combined with heavy drinking, can cause more oral health problems. Brushing twice a day and having semi-annual cleanings with a dentist can help prevent problems with gum disease from developing too much before they are caught.

To learn more, contact a dental clinic like Pine Lake Dental Group