When it comes to choosing a favorite beverage, most are unlikely to say water. Many would probably prefer beer, wine, champagne, or any other mixed drinks. If your preferred beverage is an alcoholic one, it is important to be aware of how it can affect your teeth. Some can also do more damage than others in terms sugar content and teeth staining.
Sugar and Alcohol
Kurt Schneider, DDS’ dentist in Orange County, CA notes that drinks loaded with sugar can increase your risk of tooth decay. This is because sugar helps the bacteria in the mouth to survive. Some alcoholic beverages like a doux champagne are much sweeter than drier varieties. The same is also true for wines, as white types have lesser sugar content compared to a sweet red wine or sherry.
Deeply colored alcoholic drinks can definitely stain your teeth. Red wines and similar beverages with strong hues can lead to discoloration and dullness of your pearly whites. Whitening toothpaste can remove surface stains, but this may not help if you regularly drink colored beverages. While it is better to choose lightly colored drinks to avoid staining, you should consume them in moderation.
Decrease in Saliva Flow
Alcohol drinking can also result in dehydration or decrease in saliva flow. Such beverages help the bacteria to linger in the enamel and increase your risk of tooth decay. When drinking alcohol, it is best to drink water from time to time to avoid a dry mouth. It is also a good idea to chew a sugar-free gum between drinks to increase saliva production.
Effects on Gum Health
A research featured on the Perio.org note that alcohol drinking can compromise gum health. The study suggests that consuming alcohol can aggravate an existing case of periodontal disease. Drinkers without periodontitis, however, had an increased incidence of bleeding gums, which is a common sign of the said disease.
Excessive alcohol consumption can damage your teeth, so it’s best not to make drinking a habit. An extra care and attention can also help you lessen the negative effects of such beverages. This means choosing those with less sugar and light-colored drinks, and brushing or rinsing teeth after drinking.