You have heard about the benefits you can achieve by enjoying an adult beverage at the end of a hard day or to unwind after a long week. Although there is a variety of research suggesting the advantages of alcohol for your health, your family dentist in Satellite Beach will advise against drinking regularly. Despite its health benefits, alcohol can damage your oral health. As a result, you may want to reconsider how often you have a beer or a glass of wine.
Alcohol and Your Oral Health
Alcohol is known to dry your mouth, which increases the growth of bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. The acidic nature of alcohol creates a low pH level in your mouth, which causes bacteria to thrive for several hours at a time. If you cannot skip having a drink, it is best to stay hydrated, which will help cleanse harmful bacteria and keep your mouth moist.
Alcohol can accelerate tooth discoloration because many drinks are darkly pigmented, like red wine. They are also acidic, which causes color to stick to your teeth. The tannins in alcohol bond to your enamel and trap the color on your teeth.
You can help combat stains by rinsing your mouth with water or chewing on gum. Although it might be tempting to brush your teeth right away, it is best to wait at least 30 minutes to allow your enamel to harden.
Alcohol also increases your risk of gum disease, which currently affects at least 50% of adults in the U.S. It not only enhances the growth of bacteria that can lead to the infection, but it also lowers your body’s ability to fight it. If you develop gum disease, you will have a more difficult time recovering because alcohol decreases your body’s ability to heal and fight infections.
The effects of alcohol may not be apparent right away. Instead, your dentist in Satellite Beach may not find an issue until a routine appointment. The more regularly you consume alcohol, the greater the long-term complications will be, such as the risk of oral cancer.
Research shows if you consume alcohol frequently and smoke, your risk of oral cancer is 6 times greater than if you only smoked or drank. It is believed alcohol enables cancer-causing agents in tobacco to amplify the development of cancerous cells in the mouth.
Enjoy a Healthy Smile
If it is too difficult to skip your adult beverage at the end of the week, it is best to consume alcohol in moderation. Be sure to drink plenty of water to maintain your oral hygiene to protect your teeth and gums from adverse complications.
About Dr. Merrill A. Grant
For over 30 years, Dr. Merrill A. Grant strives to deliver comprehensive care to create lasting healthy smiles. He combines his qualifications and experience with the latest research and technologies to provide superior care. Contact our office today to invest in a healthy smile.