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Effects of alcohol on teeth.

The harmful effects of alcohol and your dental health include increased risk of gum disease, tooth decay/loss, oral cancer and high plaque.

1. Damage to Teeth

Bacteria in your mouth feeds on sugar, so sipping on sugary drinks, like alcohol, helps the bacteria thrive. This bacteria creates acids that eat away at your teeth, weaken the enamel, and cause tooth decay. If you do decide to have a drink, it is always better to choose alcohol with less sugar, such as dry wine (e.g. Sauvingnon Blanc over Moscato).

2. Dehydration/Dry Mouth

Alcohol dries out the mouth and, when saliva flow is reduced, the risk for tooth decay and gum disease increases. This is because saliva plays an important role in oral health, helping wash away bacteria. When you have dry mouth or are dehydrated, bacteria clings to the enamel and increases your risk of tooth decay. Furthermore, dry mouth can cause embarrassing bad breath. If you are having a few drinks, make sure to pair each drink with a glass of water to replenish the saliva. Also, chewing on sugar-free gum can help increase saliva flow.

3. Teeth Staining

Alcoholic beverages with deep hues like sangria and red wine can turn your teeth red and cause long-lasting discoloration. You can keep any discoloration under control by munching on food while you drink and chewing sugar-free gum after drinking alcohol to bring your saliva levels back to normal.

Properly brushing and flossing your teeth, as well as getting professional dental cleanings and checkups every 6 months, can help reduce the risk of alcohol-related dental problems.

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Church Street Dental Practice, 10 Church Street, Houghton le Spring, Durham, DH4 4DN. Telephone 0191 584 3247. CSDP (UK) Ltd trading as Church Street Dental Practice is a credit broker not a lender and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, 840271. Registered in England & Wales 07257396. Registered Address: 10 Church Street, Houghton le Spring, Durham, DH4 4DN.