Suffice it to say that alcohol, in almost all accounts, is bad for you.
Yes, a glass of wine or a beer a day in fact does have health benefits, but the buck just about stops there. Each time you drink, you’re doing damage to your liver, and damage to skin.
But what about your teeth?
Your teeth experience abuse throughout the day, but in most cases proper brushing regimens and regular visits to the dentist – at least once every six months – will keep the worst at bay.
But alcohol is a particularly harmful substance for teeth, and it’s often overlooked. Many people focus on smoking, sweets, and the lack of brushing as things to look out for, but alcohol deserves its own special attention, in part because we as Australians drink so much.
Alcohol is like Liquid Sugar
What actually makes the compound alcohol, the part that we enjoy so much?
Alcohol is converted sugar, a byproduct of the fermentation process. Each time you take a drink, you’re covering your teeth in liquified sugar.
We all know that sugar breaks down teeth. It can be converted into plaque and buildup, and lead to tooth cracking.
If you don’t rinse your mouth out after drinking, you risk leaving this sugary alcohol in your mouth, which can lead to bad breath. Additionally, bacteria in the mouth feed off of sugar, so added sugar in the mouth will lead to increased bacteria levels.
These increased bacteria levels will often lead to infection. Painful infections, if left untreated, can result in issues like gum disease or gingivitis developing in the mouth.
On top of all this, most alcoholic beverages are highly acidic, especially wine and liquor. Just as black coffee can break down enamel, prolonged alcohol use will eventually weaken your teeth and lead to susceptibility of many other dental issues down the road.
Drinking Alcohol After Wisdom Teeth Removal
Alcohol is one thing dentists suggest patients to abstain from after wisdom tooth removal.
Your mouth needs time to heal after wisdom tooth extraction. Adding sugary alcohol – which is also acidic – can hamper the healing process and prolong pain. Drinking whiskey or vodka after wisdom teeth removal, two types of alcohol which are highly acidic, will certainly lead to a prolonged healing process.
Drinking alcohol after wisdom tooth extraction also can cause additional infection. Developing an infection during this healing process might lead to additional surgery and treatments down the road.
Drinking Alcohol with a Tooth Infection
A tooth infection happens when bacteria attacks the gums and causes inflammation.
Alcohol can exacerbate this inflammation, making it worse, or forcing it to last longer. The acidity in alcohol can harm your gums and teeth when they are more sensitive during a tooth infection, and the additional sugar will feed the bacteria and allow it to multiply.
Drinking Alcohol with Gum Disease
Gum disease, otherwise known as gingivitis, is a serious dental condition. As such, it’s best to do all you can to maintain a healthy mouth.
Alcohol’s erosive properties are harmful to your teeth, and can hamper efforts to fight against gum disease. If you’re drinking beer or wine with gum disease, the sugar will cause even more infection, especially if you’re also experiencing receding gums because of gingivitis.
Drinking Alcohol with Broken Teeth
When teeth are cracked or broken, the enamel can no longer protect your roots and nerve endings from exposure. When you drink alcohol, it has easy access to the inside of your teeth, and can begin breaking down the pulp and the root of your tooth.
Proper Dental Health
Drinking alcohol is something many of us do. There’s nothing wrong about enjoying a fine glass of wine, or a frosty glass of beer after work. When it comes to dental health, it’s all about moderation.
Our patients are given an open door to ask any and every type of question about dental health, and understanding how they pass their time is part of it all. If you have any questions or concerns about your dental health, contact us to find out what can work best for you.
If you have pre-existing dental conditions, it will only help to find out how drinking impacts those issues. At Hitek Dental, you’ve always got the best advice just a question away.