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Alcohol and Your Dental Health

A couple of wine bottles witlh a couple glasses of wine beside them

Abusing alcohol is detrimental to your entire wellbeing, but the way alcohol affects oral health isn’t something that’s discussed very often. There are obvious effects of heavy drinking, but even the occasional alcoholic beverage can be damaging to your oral health.

Most alcoholic drinks are very acidic. Foods and drinks high in acid are damaging to teeth as the acid softens and breaks down enamel, weakening the teeth. When the enamel is worn all the way down, the nerves of your teeth can become exposed, causing sensitivity and pain.

Another consequence of weak enamel is the appearance of teeth. When enamel is broken down, it reveals the dentine underneath, which is a darker yellow shade. Red wines and ports can cause teeth to stain even further, resulting in a dull, yellow smile.

Sticky liquors, pina coladas, and other sweet drinks are packed with sugar. When bacteria feed on the sugar, it creates the acid that causes cavities and breaks down enamel.

Lastly, but importantly, it’s important to know that alcohol has been linked to mouth cancer. According to Cancer Research UK, around 80% of people suffering from mouth cancer say they frequently drink alcohol. When combined with smoking, the risk is increased 30 times.

Part of drinking responsibly is knowing the effect of alcohol on your body, and that includes your oral and gum health. If you’re concerned about gum disease and gingivitis, please contact In Highlands Ranch Periodontics located here in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.  

Posted on Apr 27, 2020

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Our Periodontist

  • Mike Norouzinia, DDS, MS
    Dr. Mike Norouzinia