How alcohol affects your oral health

The month of December is full of holiday parties and celebrations, and many of these gatherings involve the consumption of alcohol. Whether it’s wine with a meal or a fun Christmas cocktail, there is no shortage of booze during this time of year. Actually, according to research, people tend to drink the most alcohol during the winter and holiday season. 

Because of this, it’s important to be informed on some effects alcohol can have on our oral health, and how to best take care of our teeth during the season of celebration. 

Stained teeth 

Depending on the type of alcoholic drink, the colors and acidity can stain your teeth. Dark liquors, red wines and soda-mixed drinks are some of the worst beverages for tooth discoloration. Rinsing your mouth with water between and after drinks can help eliminate residue that might stick around and cause damage. You can also try using a straw to avoid less direct impact to your teeth. 

Dry mouth  

Alcohol has a dehydrating and drying effect. Because of this, it is more likely that you’ll have a dry mouth after drinking an alcoholic beverage. It’s important for many reasons to stay hydrated before, during and after you drink. One of these reasons is to keep salvia in your mouth which helps to eliminate bacteria and remove plaque from your tooth enamel naturally.  

Gum disease 

Since alcohol can cause dry mouth, it can also lead to gum diseases caused by dry mouth, such as periodontitis. This disease is characterized by bleeding gums, gum recession, plaque and infection. Studies show that those who drink often were found to have worsened effects of gum disease symptoms. To prevent this, limit alcohol consumption and find ways to improve your oral hygiene by brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist often. 

Make your appointments now, and consult one of our dentists to create a plan for your oral health. Call us at (573) 243-5200 or stop by Jackson Dental’s office at 3100 E Jackson Blvd., Jackson, Mo., to get your visit scheduled.