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Improve Oral Health by Cutting Down on Booze

It looks like there’s more to alcohol than you think. Apart from the ill effects it brings to your physical and mental health, several studies are linking alcohol consumption to poor oral health. Here at our San Diego dental practice, we strive not only to provide you with high-quality dental services but also educate you with the hows and whys of maintaining excellent oral health.

 The Link Between Alcohol Use and Oral Health

The results of a research study published in 2003 revealed that individuals with alcohol abuse problems had a higher incidence of tooth decay, periodontal disease, and precancerous oral lesions. The researchers found out that roughly two-thirds of the subjects had a heavy accumulation of dental plaque while around 82 percent had “moderate to severe” gum inflammation.

While the results of the aforementioned study was published 10 years ago, it is interesting to note that a similar (and more recent) study yielded similar results.  Published in 2012, the researchers were able to conclude that their Irish subjects, who were at that time treated for their alcohol and drug abuse, demonstrated high levels of dental disease.

Ill Effects of Alcohol on Oral Health

One of the most common after effects of alcohol consumption is dehydration. Have you noticed how dry your mouth is after a bottle of beer or a couple of wine sips? It has to do with how alcohol causes your salivary glands to swell and consequently, reduce its production of saliva. With chronic dry mouth, you are at high risk for tooth decay which in turn will be a breeding ground of bacteria.

On the other hand, consuming too much wine may actually lead to teeth discoloration as well as develop teeth sensitivity as a result of tooth erosion. 

Protecting Your Teeth from Alcohol

You do not have to quit the occasional beer, wine or vodka. Moderation is the key as well as sticking to the easy steps below:

  • Have sips of water in between alcoholic drinks.

  • To improve saliva production, chew sugar-free gums.

  • Habitually rinse your mouth with bicarbonate solution before brushing your teeth. This will help neutralized acids and help prevent abrasion on the enamel by your toothbrush.

  • Visit your dentist regularly, like twice a year.

If you’d like to find out how to protect your teeth from alcohol, get in touch with us for an initial consultation! Call us at 619-299-5925 or fill out this contact form. Patients from around the San Diego area trust our office for optimal oral health and an unforgettable smile!