How Can Alcohol Hurt Your Teeth?
Booze can have severe and long lasting effects on your teeth:
- Irritates all the soft tissue in the mouth
- Decreases amount of natural saliva
- Corrodes gums, cheeks, and skin
- High levels of tooth plaque
- Permanent tooth decay and loss
- Periodontal Disease
- High risk of cancer in mouth, throat, and esophagus
- Might link to diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
Drinking on St. Patrick’s Day?
With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, you might be excited to down a pint of beer or maybe two to celebrate. For those happy Irish who are planning on a week-long St.Patrick’s Day, the probability of damage to your teeth is much higher! According to data provided by Sikka Software, emergency visits to the dentist jump by 64 percent across the United States on March 18th. And no, this is not because America has the most Irish residents. It is because alcohol is destructive when it is not prepared for and moderated. Americans consume an average of 4 alcoholic drinks per week so overloading the system without proper awareness and precautions can have a detrimental impact on your oral hygiene.
Keep in mind that in chemistry, alcohol is used as a drying agent and to no surprise, it has the same effect on your mouth. This is without even adding the high sugar level that most alcoholic drinks do. When these sugars combine with natural bacteria in the mouth, they produce a harmful acid that eats at your enamel and soft tissue. Because of this effect, it is crucial that you brush and floss your teeth 20 minutes after consuming your drink so that your saliva has time to remineralize the enamel from the acid.
Also remember that like all guilty pleasures, moderation is key! Whether it is a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a shot of liquor, it is important to moderate all alcoholic intake to protect your teeth. For women, this means maximum one drink a day and for men, two drinks a day.
So before you partake in St.Patrick’s Day shenanigans, remember to prepare to clean, take it easy, and avoid these destructive side effects of heavy drinking! Your pearly whites will thank you!
Be proactive in your oral hygiene and if you already suffer from symptoms similar to these contact Dr.Tibbitts and Associates for more information about treatment and make an appointment today at 951-677-5113!