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Alcohol & Oral Health


Here are a few examples of how alcohol can have a negative impact your oral health – 

  1. Tooth decay – Many alcoholic beverages contain a lot of sugar which increases the risk of tooth decay.
  2. Mouth dryness – Saliva helps to protect the teeth but when we are dehydrated our bodies produce less. This can cause mouth dryness which, in turn, puts our teeth at a higher risk of developing tooth decay.
  3. Tooth erosion – Most alcoholic beverages are quite acidic or are mixed with something acidic. Frequent consumption coats the teeth which can cause the acids to dissolve away the tooths structure.
  4. Vomiting & acid reflux – Drinking an excessive amount of alcohol can lead to vomiting and/or acid reflux, if this becomes a regular occurrence the teeth become susceptible to tooth erosion due to stomach acids regularly coating the teeth.
  5. Oral cancer – Long term consumption of alcohol puts you at a higher risk of developing oral cancer. Research shows people who drink alcohol long term are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than people who don’t. To reduce the risk of cancers, the Australian Government alcohol guidelines recommended to consume no more than 10 standard drinks in a week.
  6. Tooth staining – Red wine can cause staining overtime.
  7. Dental trauma – Those who drink excessive amounts of alcohol are at a higher risk of damaging their teeth.

To best care for your teeth when drinking alcohol, we recommend drinking water between drinks. If you suffer from acid reflux and/or vomiting, rinse your mouth with water afterwards and then avoid brushing your teeth for the next 30minutes. You may use a fluoride mouthwash or chew sugar-free gum while you wait to brush.

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