December 23, 2019
After a long and stressful day at work, you look forward to going home and enjoying a nightcap or two. Although a bourbon on the rocks or vodka and cranberry juice may not seem harmful, excessive alcohol consumption can have an impact on both your overall and oral health. That’s why your dentist in Wayne recommends being mindful of your alcohol intake and learning how drinking can affect the health of your smile. Read on to learn four ways that consuming more than one drink every day can damage your teeth and gums.
One of the most common side-effects of drinking alcohol that people are familiar with is dry mouth. When you wake up in the middle of the night and your mouth feels like a barren landscape, it’s because you’re dehydrated, and your body is attempting to redistribute your fluids. Alcohol works as a diuretic, which means that it signals your body to redirect water from the kidneys to the bladder, where it’s flushed out in your urine. This loss of fluids causes you to become dehydrated.
The unfortunate impact of this side-effect is that without enough saliva in your mouth, your body isn’t able to wash away food debris and harmful oral bacteria, causing substances like plaque and tartar to accumulate and cause oral health problems.
Many people who enjoy a nightcap or two just want to collapse in bed afterward, causing them to forget to brush and floss their teeth. On top of dry mouth, the lack of dental hygiene provides harmful bacteria with an opportunity to feed from sugars and carbohydrates found in plaque. After they eat, they produce two kinds of waste: enamel-eroding acid and toxins that cause inflammation. When this happens for a few nights out of the week, you may notice that your gums begin to bleed when you floss, or that they appear redder than they used to. These are the early signs of gum disease, which is a common preventable oral health problem that can cause permanent damage to your mouth when left untreated.
Alcohol such as beer and wine are incredibly acidic, which isn’t good for your tooth enamel. This is the outer-most layer of your teeth that acts to shield them from cavities and infection. Drinking alcohol on a daily basis will slowly erode your enamel, leaving your teeth unprotected and vulnerable to forming severe decay. This will result in uncomfortable symptoms such as dental sensitivity and even tooth pain.
Many people aren’t aware that beverages such as beer and red wine, especially ones made of berries and dark malts and barley, can cause your teeth to discolor over time. While this particular effect doesn’t put them in harm’s way, it can have a drastic impact on your self-confidence and the way you socially interact with people. When your smile is yellow-ish or tinted brown, you’ll be less likely to let it show, and more self-conscious about your appearance while meeting new people.
A couple of nightcaps every weekday may seem like a small way to help you relax but doing this too frequently can harm your oral and overall health. The best drinks to substitute include ones with low sugar contents, are clear in color, and have lower acidity levels. Also, to prevent oral damage, it’s best to visit your dentist in Wayne every six months for checkups and cleanings.
About the Practice
At Wayne Family Dentistry, we offer the expertise and care of four highly-skilled dentists. At our practice, we focus on providing our patients with a comfortable and judgement-free environment to improve their oral health and prevent problems from developing in the future. That’s why we pride ourselves on offering thorough comprehensive dental care, including every service from routine checkups and cleanings to professional teeth whitening. For questions or to schedule an appointment, visit our website or call 610-688-4578.
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