deux femmes avec verres de vin blanc ou rosé sur un balcon de la rive-sud de montréal

The Effects of Alcohol on Your Oral Health

Whether it’s a dinner party with friends, a weekend cocktail party or just for the fun of it, alcohol is often part of our social activities.

The effects of prolonged alcohol consumption on the body are well documented, but what about your teeth? The Centre Dentaire & d’Implantologie Boucherville has some information and tips on how to enjoy your favorite beers, wines and cocktails without affecting your teeth too much!

Is Alcohol Bad for Your Teeth?

A drink from time to time is not harmful to your teeth! As with many things in life, the secret is in moderation. Let’s have a look at how alcohol affects your oral health.

The fermentation process of most alcohols causes your favorite alcoholic beverages to contain sugars and acids in varying amounts depending on the type of alcohol you choose.

The first thing to know is that alcohol can sometimes stain teeth. Red wine is often the biggest culprit. It stains teeth directly with its dark color, but don’t think that white wine won’t have the same effect!

White wine, on the other hand, is more likely to allow these dental stains to appear, since it is often more acidic than red wine. Acid damages the enamel of your teeth in the long run, making it easier for these stains to appear.

Dark liquids will be more likely to leave visible stains on your teeth directly after consumption. In general, any type of alcohol can be harmful to your teeth if consumed frequently.

Why Does Alcohol Stain Teeth?

Aside from the color that can stain teeth, the acid and sugar compounds in alcoholic beverages can dissolve tooth enamel over time. Extrinsic tooth stains are those small brown stains found on your teeth. They are most likely to occur after prolonged alcohol consumption.

Between responsible drinking and regular visits to your dentist, these aesthetic stains are unlikely to occur. Depending on the nature of these stains, your dentist will recommend teeth whitening if necessary.

Alcohol and Bad Breath: A Duo to Monitor

Another effect that alcohol has on your oral health is that it dries out your mouth. In fact, alcohol consumption reduces the production of saliva. Saliva has several functions in your oral health:

  • It helps digest food
  • It regulates the acidity level of your mouth
  • It helps heal scars on the mucous membranes of your mouth

When saliva production is affected, all of these functions cannot be performed properly by your mouth. If you have persistent bad breath and your dental checkups are positive, think about your alcohol intake.

When bad breath is persistent, it is called halitosis, an oral condition caused by bacteria in the mouth that can no longer be properly regulated.

Also remember to brush your tongue as needed, which carries a large number of bacteria. Because of the sugar and acid composition of some alcohols, oral bacteria can feed on them and proliferate in this way.

person on white background pulling their bottom lip showing irritated gums because of excessive alcohol

Alcohol and Gums: Take Precautions!

Alcohol also attacks the gums. Mainly composed of soft tissues, they do not support a prolonged contact with a substance like alcohol.

Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to or worsen conditions such as gingivitis or periodontitis. Alcohol can also have an irritating effect on the gums.

However, none of these points should alarm you or scare you. The effects of alcohol on the teeth are only noticeable with excessive and prolonged consumption. It’s not one drink at an occasional happy hour that will make you lose all your teeth!

If you find that your teeth could benefit from an examination or cleaning, it is possible to do so with your South Shore dentists at the Centre Dentaire & d’Implantologie Boucherville.

Their attentive and competent team and their practice established in Boucherville for over 20 years aim to give you a radiant smile. From general and cosmetic dentistry to implantology services, you will be in good hands every time.

The Centre Dentaire & d’Implantologie Boucherville: the reference in dentistry on the South Shore!

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