When you come home from a long day of working, it is normal to relax with a glass of scotch, wine, or beer. Alcohol can help you unwind and is a great social lubricant when you’re out and about with new friends. It’s is a big part of our culture in some ways, so it’s a bit surprising that only 16 percent of people have considered its effect on teeth. While most things are okay in moderation, it’s important to know what alcohol can do to your teeth so you can take precautions to keep your smile nice and pearly.
A Troublesome Chain
The negative effects of alcohol on your teeth arrange themselves like a chain reaction. It all starts simply. Alcohol is dry. Even one drink can dehydrate your entire body, and when this happens, you’ll deal with a little case of dry mouth. Dry mouth is troublesome on its own because it decreases the amount of saliva in your mouth. Saliva is important because it helps fight off bacteria that cause gingivitis and cavities. It also contains proteins that help protect your enamel from decay. Dehydration creates the perfect storm, as your enamel is unprotected, and your dry mouth is the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive.
Alcoholic beverages are generally pretty sugary. Plenty of drinks are mixed with simple syrups, sodas, or sweet fruit juices. These combinations can pack a double punch. Your poor mouth will have to deal with the dryness of your mouth, and the added sugar. Sugar is problematic because it feeds the bacteria that live in your mouth. When the bacteria eat sugars, they produce acid, further damaging your enamel.
In addition to the acid that is created through the addition of sugary beverages, your mouth’s layers of defense are down. The acidic nature of alcohol can start to cause even worse problems. Such high acidity works on your enamel, softening the vulnerable surface of your teeth and allowing precious calcium to seep out. Over time, your enamel could become so badly damaged that your root and nerve are unprotected and cause pain.
What Can I Do?
You don’t have to quit drinking alcohol forever, but you should be cautious. Drinking water will help re-hydrate you and rebalance the levels of acidity and saliva in your mouth. Brush your teeth about 20 minutes after a drink. The time will allow your enamel to return to its hardened state, making tooth brushing a safe venture.
Contact Annapolis Family Dental Care
If you want to learn more about proper Dental Hygiene from your Annapolis Dentist or if you wish to schedule an appointment, please contact Annapolis Family Dental Care by calling (410) 267-0766 or visit AnnapolisDentalCare.com today! Our diligent knowledge of all dental treatments and extensive experience in all fields of dentistry, ensure Annapolis Dental is best suited to care for your oral health. You can also follow Annapolis Dental Care on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.