Today, moderate alcohol consumption is considered to be a healthy lifestyle, even though alcohol is not necessarily considered healthy. The mixed reputation of alcohol comes from the short-term and long-term effects it has on the human body and health. In this article, you will learn about the effects of alcohol on your teeth, gums, and mouth tissue.

How does it affect your body?

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) defines moderate alcohol use as:

  • One drink a day for women
  • More than two drinks a day for men

And anything more than that is considered heavy drinking and it can lead to tooth decay, mouth sores, gum disease. In the US alcohol abuse is deemed to be the second most common factor that increases the risk of suffering from oral cancer.

How does alcohol affect the teeth?                                                                                                                   

People who abuse alcohol tend to have higher levels of plaque in their mouth, making them three times more likely to lose at least one tooth. But even if you do not drink that much, dentists say you are still at risk of suffering tooth decay and gum disease.

Staining

Most of the beverages contain chromogens that give the drink its color. These chromogens attach to the enamel of the tooth, which is already weakened from the acids in the alcohol.  As a result, your teeth might get stained. You can avoid the alcohol contact with your teeth by using a straw.

Mixing liquor with dark sodas is another dangerous habit. The liquor contains a lot of acids, and the sodas have high doses of sugars and chromogens. It is best if you consume alcohol plain and simple, not combined with other drinks at all.

Dryness

Drinking drinks that are high in alcohol (spirits) can cause dry mouth, as alcohol disrupts the way your body assimilates water, causing dehydration. When your body is dehydrated, saliva levels will lower, leaving your teeth vulnerable to an acid attack. Saliva needs to keep the mouth moist, remove the bacteria and plaque, and reduce the acidity in your mouth. The dry mouth also promotes gum disease, which can lead to total teeth loss.

When you are drinking, you should remember to drink as much water as possible.

Other damage

There are a series of habits, such as chewing ice, that can cause harm to your teeth. A lot of people with this addiction have cracked or chipped teeth. The ADA (American Dental Association) warns us that acidic beverages can hurt the enamel layer of the teeth. Even squeezed lemon juice has enough acid to erode the enamel.

Go to the dentist periodically

By visiting your dentist regularly, you can combat as much as possible the effects of alcohol on your teeth and resolve any new problems. The dentist can whiten your teeth and fill a cavity. You can ask your dentist about ways of quitting alcohol.

Don’t forget to brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste and floss regularly.