If you want to maintain a truly luminous smile, it’s essential to take a holistic approach to your oral hygiene. That means in addition to brushing, flossing, and scheduling regular teeth cleanings, you should consume a balanced diet. Most people are aware that eating foods high in sugar can hurt their teeth, but it’s easy to overlook the impact that drinking can have on oral health, especially when it comes to alcoholic beverages. Here’s what dentists want everyone to know about the effects of alcohol consumption on the teeth, tongue, and gums.
3 Ways Alcohol Can Impact Oral Health
1. Tooth Decay
Alcohol essentially dehydrates the body, which slows saliva production. Since saliva is responsible for rinsing away bacteria and food particles, dry mouth can lead to tooth decay. Some alcoholic beverages can also alter the pH level of saliva, making it more acidic. This can contribute to the deterioration of enamel.
Red wine is notorious for staining the teeth, but it’s not the only alcoholic beverage that can cause discoloration. Fruit cocktails, sangria, beer, and even vodka can stain the teeth over time. Discoloration is especially likely if you sip drinks slowly. Dentists also advise patients to have water between drinks to prevent both dehydration and staining.
3. Gum Recession
Although sipping on the occasional cocktail may not increase your risk of periodontal disease, alcohol abuse can contribute to gum recession. Not only do certain beverages irritate gum tissue, but people who experience substance use disorders are also likely to neglect their oral hygiene. Additionally, they may fail to maintain a balanced diet that contains nutrients essential for maintaining oral health.
Regardless of how often you consume alcohol, it’s important to visit your dentist periodically for comprehensive cleanings and exams. If it’s been more than six months since your last visit, turn to Dental Distinctions in Kalispell, MT. For more than two decades, they have been providing general and cosmetic dentistry procedures for patients throughout the area. Whether you’re interested in getting veneers, dentures, or same-day crowns, you can count on their team for unparalleled care and professionalism. Call (406) 755-4166 to schedule a dentist appointment, and visit their website for directions to their office.