Now that we're in the summer season, many of us are attending outdoor parties, festivals and other get-togethers where there's plenty of alcohol flowing. If you enjoy drinking alcohol like many people do, you might be interested in knowing that alcohol can do more than just give you a hangover and damage your liver as it can also affect your teeth. Courtesy of our Santa Monica cosmetic dentistry practice, here are a few ways alcoholic beverages can negatively affect your teeth.
The Sugar Raises the Risk of Tooth Decay
Sugar intake is a major risk factor when it comes to developing tooth decay because the bacteria in your mouth lives on sugar. All alcoholic drinks contain some sugar but some are worse than others like liqueurs, sherries, ciders and fortified wines. So try to limit your consumption of these drinks which are high in sugar and choose those with less sugar content instead like dry white wines and ales.
Acid Attacks and Erodes the Teeth
When acidic beverages like soda, fruit juices and energy drinks are mixed with alcohol, as they often are, all that acid erodes the teeth. If you consume many highly acidic alcoholic drinks, the enamel on your teeth will slowly wear down. And as you lose enamel, your teeth can become darker in color, sensitive to cold & hot and much more prone to tooth decay.
Can Stain Your Teeth
Some heavily-colored alcoholic beverages can stain your teeth like red wine and sangria. You can also stain your teeth by drinking alcoholic beverages containing coffee and tea. If you are enjoying a drink known to stain teeth, try to drink a glass of water between drinks to help flush the stain-causing dyes off the surfaces of your teeth.
Can Dehydrate You to Raise Your Risk for Tooth Decay
If there’s one thing that can cause your body to become dehydrated, it’s alcohol. You need a sufficient amount of saliva in your mouth to flush away harmful bacteria from your teeth. But when you’re dehydrated after drinking alcohol, there is far less saliva being produced than normal which raises your risk for tooth decay.
If you do enjoy a refreshing adult beverage now and then, just remember that alcohol consumption can lead to dental erosion, tooth decay and tooth staining so take it easy with the alcohol and try to choose drinks which aren't so harmful to your teeth.