What Does Alcohol do to the Mouth?

For nearly the entire history of human civilization, alcohol has been available in some form. Excavations on ancient civilizations have proved that humans have been producing and consuming alcohol for thousands of years and, with such a history attached to this substance, we here at Salvatore Dental feel like alcohol is not going anywhere anytime soon. While there is nothing wrong with responsibly enjoying alcohol as an adult, we wanted to take some time in today’s post and discuss the effects that alcohol consumption can have on your teeth. Keep reading below to learn more.

Like All Things, Moderation is Key

Before we begin, we here at Salvatore Dental wanted to make it clear that we are not suggesting you have to become a teetotaler in order to make sure that your teeth stay healthy. Like all things in life, alcohol should be enjoyed in moderation. If alcohol is not enjoyed in moderation, it can seriously impact that health of an individual’s mouth and teeth. Below, we have listed a few ways that alcohol does this.

  • Less Saliva: If you read our previous post on the positive benefits of chewing sugar free gum, you are probably already aware of how important saliva is to the overall health of a person’s mouth. Saliva works to wash away leftover food from in between people’s teeth and, at the same time, coats the teeth in calcium and phosphate, strengthening the enamel of the teeth. Consuming large amounts of alcohol dehydrates the body and, as a result, reduces the amount of saliva in a person’s mouth. Less saliva means that bacteria can more easily eat away at the enamel of the teeth, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

  • Staining: While not all alcohol will stain the teeth, many varieties will. Wine, dark beers, and dark liquors are especially detrimental to the teeth and, if consumed regularly, can stain teeth rather quickly. Additionally, because alcohol reduces the amount of saliva in the mouth, the alcohol is able to stay on teeth longer without being washed away. If you enjoy dark wines, beers, or spirits, we suggest that you regularly sip water in order to reduce the amount of staining that occurs. While this won’t completely stop the staining from occurring, it will go a long way in making sure that no additional damage is caused.

When you get right down to it, most people are not going to stop drinking alcohol. However, we feel that as long as a person is aware of the fact that alcohol can negatively impact their teeth and take the appropriate steps to mitigate any negative effects, then there is no reason to quit enjoying alcohol. If you would like to learn more about the effects of alcohol on the teeth or you would like to discuss this topic with one of our dentists, please contact us today at Salvatore Dental. We offer multiple services to help people regain control of their oral health and we have been helping Malta area residents for years in their pursuit of a brighter, healthier smile.