How Alcohol Affects the Teeth
Many people relax with a glass of wine or cocktail after a long, hard day, or some enjoy spending a night out with friends with drinks. Alcohol may make you feel more relaxed, but it can cause other problems and also damage your teeth.
Alcohol is acidic, and the acid content of a drink becomes higher when the alcohol is mixed with energy drinks, juices or soft-drinks. The acid erodes the enamel of your teeth, while the sugar in the drinks provides food for oral bacteria. Oral bacteria can produce even more acid. Additionally, alcohol is dehydrating, helping to reduce the saliva flow in your mouth after a few drinks. This can make it harder for your mouth to dilute the acids and remineralize your teeth. This can also lead to acid erosion and decay.
Binge drinking can do even more damage to your mouth. Vomiting is common after heavy drinking, which can result in your teeth fighting off the acid of the alcohol and oral bacteria, but also stomach acids. After heavy drinking, you are more likely to pass out or simply fall asleep, while failing to brush your teeth. Your teeth are then exposed to this toxic environment even longer.
You do not have to skip drinking altogether to protect your teeth, but making smart choices can reduce the risk. Drink plenty of water during your night out, and chew sugar-free gum to moisten your mouth. When you get home, brush gently with fluoride toothpaste. Call us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment with our dentist.
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