Does Alcohol Affect Oral Health?

Alcohol can negatively affect your health, including your oral health. In this blog post, we discuss the oral health risks of alcohol consumption.

  • Dry Mouth

Saliva is the mouth’s natural rinse. It helps keep the soft tissues moist, washes away bacteria and food particles, and remineralizes and strengthens teeth. Decreased secretion of saliva, and thus dry mouth, can be caused by alcohol. Dry mouth is uncomfortable and increases your risk of tooth decay.

If you struggle with dry mouth, drink water whenever possible instead of alcohol, juice, or soda. There are also mouthrinses specially designed for patients with dry mouth. Ask us for a recommendation at our next appointment!

  • Increased Risk of Gum Disease

Alcohol consumption can weaken your immune system, thereby increasing your risk of infection. Gum disease is characterized by inflammation and infection of the soft tissues in the mouth. It begins as gingivitis and progresses to periodontitis. Early signs include gum inflammation, bleeding, and tenderness. If left untreated, it can lead to bad breath, tooth loss, jawbone deterioration, malnutrition, anxiety, and depression.

Gum disease is treated with improved oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and periodontal therapy. At our office, periodontal therapy can include antibiotics, scaling and root planing, and recontouring of the gumline.

  • Teeth Staining

Dark pigments in certain alcoholic drinks, like red wine or dark barley beers, can stain your teeth by attaching to the tooth enamel. While discolored teeth are still healthy and functional, they can cause a person to become self-conscious about their smile.

Do you have stains on your teeth? We offer dental veneers and professional teeth whitening that can correct discoloration.

Your Oral Health Is Our Priority!

At Southwest Smiles, our team provides personalized dental care for individuals and families in Austin, TX. We would love to answer all your dental-related questions. Contact us today to schedule an appointment! We hope to hear from you soon.

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