What affect does alcohol have on your teeth?

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It is always best to keep a moderate relationship with alcohol. Whether wines, spirits or a simple beer, an excessive amount is in no way beneficial to your body in general, so imagine what it is doing to your teeth and oral health? Thankfully, an examination from your dentist and correct hygiene practices can get rid of a lot of the damage which alcohol causes to your mouth. Nevertheless, it is still important to know what you are consuming, and how it will affect your oral health.

Dehydration
Alcohol’s ability to cause dehydration is why we feel so bad the morning after drinking a few too many. Hangovers are caused from excessive alcohol consumption leaving us dehydrated, bringing on headaches, thirst and general nausea.
Most people also have a very strong urge to brush their teeth as soon as they wake up after drinking alcohol, as it decreases saliva flow. This means that any bacteria, sugars or residue is not washed away effectively, so the bacteria in your mouth will latch on to your teeth’s enamel, increasing the risk of you developing problems such as tooth decay.
To prevent dehydration when drinking, try consuming plenty of water or chew on some sugar free chewing gum, as this encourages the production of saliva in your mouth keeping your mouth cleansed and reducing the chances of you developing gum disease.

Sugar
Alcohol’s sugar content varies massively depending on your choice of drink, as drier alcoholic drinks such as a dry wine or champagne typically have less sugar content, but a sweeter variety has much more sugar contained within it.
For example, a dry wine may have as little as 0.5 grams of sugar in it, however a sweet rose can have as much as 12 grams of sugar in it!
This is important to keep in mind next time you fancy a drink, as a drier drink typically contains less sugar, so you are greatly reducing the risk of developing cavities or gum disease.

Staining teeth
As a rule of thumb, the more extravagant the colour of the drink, the more likely it is to stain your teeth. Red wines are notorious for leaving stains on teeth after consumption. The stains maybe initially a deep red hue, however, after continued consumption, your teeth will become discoloured and stained further and will become much more apparent.
White wine is more beneficial to your teeth in this respect, although it is still important to clean your teeth after drinking.
Repeated consumption can result in your teeth becoming extremely stained or discoloured. If repeated brushing or a scale and polish won’t work, it could be worth looking towards cosmetic dentistry to get rid of the stains, through methods such as teeth whitening.
We aren’t saying you shouldn’t enjoy a drink now and then; however, it is important to practice drinking in moderation for just as much your teeth as well as your body!
If you are looking for more information regarding your teeth’s health, or would like a check-up, why not contact your friendly Loughborough dentists today to see how we can help you!

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