Saint Patrick’s Day is coming up fast, and with it comes a full day or more of high living and hard-partying. While we’re all for enjoying the good times, we’d like to take a moment to talk about your oral health and the effect alcohol can have on your teeth and gums. While a few drinks may be a great way to celebrate a special occasion, regular or excessive consumption of alcohol can have a negative impact on your oral health and cause long-term problems. So let’s take a frank and honest look at what alcohol does to your mouth and what problems that might cause.
Negative Effects of Drinking Alcohol
While alcohol affects the whole body, we’re going to focus here on what it can do to your teeth, gums, and oral cavity. In particular, the following changes alcohol brings to your mouth can do bad things to your oral health:
- Staining of teeth: alcoholic beverages come in a wide variety of colors and hues, which can provide a visual delight while drinking but may also discolor or stain your teeth. This may be an acute and obvious discoloration—red wine is famous for staining teeth reddish or pink—but it may also manifest as a long term and long last discoloration or dullness. A healthy, vibrant smile is part of living your best life, and alcohol can rob you of that.
- Dehydration and dry mouth: It’s a well-known fact that dehydration is a direct result of alcohol consumption, particularly of excessive alcohol consumption. Dehydration can lead to dry mouth, however, which causes much more serious problems than a morning-after headache. By stripping away saliva, drinking alcohol robs your teeth and gums of a critical layer of protection. This can leave them vulnerable to infection or damage, particularly over the long term.
- Sugar, so much sugar: sugar is one of the many compounds that give alcoholic beverages their great taste, but it comes at a cost. As your dentist has been telling you since childhood, too much sugar is bad for your teeth, feeding bacteria and allowing them to flourish. This, in turn, may cause infections and cavities, which can lead to permanent damage or even tooth loss.
- It’s not just your teeth: alcohol consumption is also strongly linked to gum disease and other oral health problems which can take a toll on both your smile and your quality of living.
Celebrating With a Smile!
So how can you maintain a healthy smile while enjoying a few drinks? First and foremost it’s best to drink in moderation, even on special occasions. Alcohol is a treat, not a lifestyle, and your health comes first. While consuming alcohol, it’s important to stay hydrated, which means drinking plenty of water in addition to the libation of your choice. And even though you’re busy being the life of the party, you shouldn’t neglect your dental health routine—make sure that you brush and floss after consuming!
At BlueWave Dentistry, your oral health and well being are our top concerns. Whether you need a basic checkup and cleaning or more involved care, we take a personal approach to each patient’s needs and concerns. Get in touch today and make an appointment—we’re here for you!