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Alcohol’s Effect on Oral Health

Alcohol’s Effect on Oral Health

added on: November 18, 2015
alcohol and oral health

A glass of wine at family dinner. A few beers at the bar while catching up with old friends. A mixed drink or two at the office holiday party. When it comes to alcohol, it’s a fairly standard beverage of choice for U.S. adults. While enjoying it in moderation is reasonable, problems with both overall health and oral health arise when we drink too much.

What’s so Bad About it?

About 25% of all U.S. adults 18 and older have had at least one night of excessive drinking this past year. Besides being potentially dangerous to your overall well being, over-consumption of alcohol can have detrimental affects on your oral health as well. Alcohol is naturally drying, which is a problem when talking about oral health. Your mouth is supposed to be moist and needs saliva to function properly. Without it, dangerous bacteria, sugars, and acids aren’t effectively rinsed away, leaving your teeth exposed to damage.

Know the Risks

At my dental office in Cambridge, part of our job is to educate and inform our patients as much as possible. And while we aren’t here to tell you to completely refrain from drinking alcohol, we do want to let you know the risks involved when drinking in excess. Some oral health problems that may arise from over-consumption of alcohol include:

  • Tooth Decay
  • Gum Disease
  • Chronic Bad Breath
  • Oral, Throat, and Esophagus Cancer

Protect Your Health

  • Limit Your Drinks. The best way to protect your smile from the damaging effects of alcohol is to limit the amount you drink. It’s also a good rule of thumb to rotate in a glass of water in between alcoholic beverages.
  • Consult a Counselor. If you suspect you have an alcohol problem, we encourage you to find a trusted professional to help.
  • Brush 20 Minutes Post-Drink. Waiting 20 minutes after drinking an alcoholic beverage to brush can reduce the negative effects of the alcohol.
  • Regular Checkups. Visiting your dentist in Cambridge at least twice a year is crucial to maintaining great oral health. These visits help catch any problems early, and the earlier a problem is caught, the easier and more effective treatment can be.

If it’s been awhile since you’ve seen a dentist, we welcome you to call my Cambridge dental office. We’re here to keep your mouth, and your body, in the best shape possible.

Welcoming patients from Cambridge, Caldwell, and Woodsfield.