Impact of Alcohol on Oral Health

Most of us are aware of the effects of alcohol consumption on our body—liver damage, memory loss and stomach ulcersbut did you know about the negative effects of alcohol on your oral health?
Studies show that the prevalence of gum diseases, such as periodontitis, is much higher in individuals who consume more alcohol.

The unknown impact of alcohol consumption on your oral health

Tooth decay

High alcohol consumption increases your risk of developing dental cavities.
The acidic nature of alcoholic drinks reduces your saliva’s pH level. Sugar in alcoholic drinks allows bacteria in your mouth to thrive. This causes the enamel to break down, leading to cavities and tooth decay.

Affects the Salivary glands

Alcohol can cause your salivary glands to become swollen, making them secrete less saliva.
Reduced saliva levels in your mouth lead to a higher chance of developing gum diseases. As bacteria and plaque are not washed away by saliva, they start building up on your gums and teeth.

Periodontal diseases

Periodontitis is a gum disease which leads to inflamed gums and tooth loss.
Alcohol consumption leads to the gingival tissues becoming inflamed, which in turn damages your teeth and causes tooth decay.

Alcoholics also tend to have a diet that is deficient in the proper nutrients leading to weaker immunity from such diseases.

Dental erosion

Studies show that men who consume alcohol regularly are more prone to dental erosion.
Habitual drinking, over time, causes the surface of your teeth to become acidic in nature. This dissolves the enamel and makes your teeth more vulnerable to damage, even by seemingly harmless activities such as brushing.

Effects of Alcohol on the tongue

Glossitis is a condition when the tongue becomes red and inflamed. Small bumps start to appear on the surface of the tongue and the taste buds become damaged.

Glossitis affects taste sensation and may cause pain while speaking and eating.

Oral Cancer

Those who consume alcohol also have a higher chance of developing oral cancer. Alcohol damages cell walls and increases chances of toxins and carcinogens to permeate into the cells.
Ethanol also produces acetaldehyde that affects the DNA of epithelial cells found in your mouth.

Moreover, nutritional deficiencies among alcohol consumers make it more difficult for the immune system to fight off cancer-inducing toxins.

The impact of alcohol consumption on your oral health can be detrimental. Keep your alcohol consumption in check and make sure to schedule regular appointments with your dentist.

Our general, preventive and cosmetic dentistry in Germantown, MD can help address all your dental problems. Give us a call at (301) 353-8890 and book your appointment today.