How Excessive Alcohol Consumption Damages Your Teeth

They say that moderation is the key to everything, and this includes consuming alcohol. For example, drinking too much alcohol can harm your dental health. Here are three ways in which this may happen:

Dry Mouth

Alcohol is one of the causes of xerostomia, which is a chronic condition of dry mouth. It does this by reducing salivary excretion and making you dehydrated. Xerostomia is not good for your dental health because you need saliva to remineralize your teeth and wash away the bacteria and bits of food that lead to teeth decay.

The best way to mitigate this effect of alcohol is to drink lots of water even as you drink alcohol. Consuming a glass of water for every glass of alcohol you take works well enough.

Enamel Erosion

If you are one of those people who throw up whenever they drink, you should know that vomit is not good for your teeth. Your stomach's contents are acidic, and, when you throw up, the acid erodes your enamel. Apart from the acid in your vomit, many types of alcohols are also acidic, which also contributes to enamel erosion. This makes your teeth more susceptible to bacterial attack, and, by extension, tooth decay.  

Reduce the effect of the acid on your teeth by reducing your risk of vomiting after drinking. Here are some helpful measures to adopt:

  • Eat something or consume non-alcoholic drinks before drinking alcohol.
  • Limit your drinking; do this by stopping for snacks or taking water breaks.
  • Drink clear fluids immediately after drinking.
  • Chew sugarless gum soon after drinking to remove traces of acid in your mouth.

Apart from that, it also helps to rinse your mouth with clear water immediately after vomiting.

Tooth Decay

Some types of alcohol contain sugar. You may or may not taste the sugar depending on the other ingredients used in the drink. If you drink frequently, you are probably exposing your teeth to more sugar than is good for your health. When oral bacteria feed on the sugar, they create acids that damage your teeth and lead to cavities. Again, drinking water, chewing sugarless gum, and brushing your teeth may help mitigate the effect of sugar on your teeth.

Taking the measures described above may help you prevent some of the negative effects of alcohol on your oral health. Make sure you brush your teeth immediately after you come home from drinking. Consult a local dentist regularly, such as Barry Groder DDS, to help identify any dental problems early on.