14th February 2019

The Effects Of Alcohol On Oral Health

For many people, the consumption of alcohol is typically an activity for the weekends after a long working week. But did you know that drinking alcohol can have a detrimental effect on your dental health? The common ingredients in most alcoholic drinks make for a high sugar content, which can wreak havoc on your teeth. Problems such as gum disease, tooth decay and mouth sores are all an increased risk for heavy drinkers. Alarmingly, alcohol abuse is the second most common risk factor for oral cancer.

Here’s a look at the most common effects of alcohol on oral health and how you can prevent them:

The High Sugar Content

Those on a diet that involves cutting back on sugar may be surprised that reducing alcohol consumption is a key component. This is because alcohol contains many ‘hidden sugars’, which is both bad for your oral health and general health. The bacteria in your mouth thrives on sugar, so by consuming sugar-filled alcoholic drinks, you’re actually fuelling the production of bacteria. This will result in a build-up of plaque and can lead to tooth decay.

Acidic Drinks

Whenever you eat or drink anything acidic, it can linger around your teeth. Alcohol has a range of notoriously high acidic drinks, such as wine and spirits. This can cause your enamel to weaken, while your saliva is working to try and return your mouth to a normal pH balance.

Dehydration and Dryness

Drinks with a particularly high alcohol content can dry the mouth. This can be harmful because saliva keeps the teeth moist, which helps to remove plaque and bacteria from the surface of the tooth. When drinking alcohol, bacteria clings onto the enamel and increases the risk of tooth decay.

Staining Teeth

One of the biggest effects of alcohol on oral health is that it can stain teeth. The colour in beverages comes from chromogens, which attach to tooth enamel that’s been compromised by the acid in alcohol, staining teeth. One way to bypass this is to drink alcoholic drinks with a straw, and to regularly sip water. In particular, beverages such as red wine, sangria and beer can all contribute to the discolouration of teeth. Dark barely and malts typically found in beer can also be just as bad as red wine for staining.

Our gentle airflow polishing system is extremely effective for removal of staining – you don’t have to be a patient at the practice to book an appointment for stain removal.

Preventing the Effects of Alcohol on Oral Health

It’s recommended that whenever you drink alcohol, you also consume water at the same time. This can help to prevent a multitude of problems associated with alcohol for your oral health. Not only can water help to wash the acidity away, but it can also stop dehydration.

Additionally, when it comes to tackling the high sugar content in drinks, swapping the type of alcohol consumed could be beneficial. For example, dry wine can contain roughly 3 grams of sugar. On the other hand, sweet wine such as red wine or sherry, can have up to 8 grams of sugar. A simple swap could greatly reduce the amount of hidden sugars consumed which your teeth will thank you for.

Have Frequent Check-ups

If you’re worried about the effects of alcohol on your oral health it’s best to consult your dentist. Frequent check-ups will ensure you keep on top of any issues that could arise as a result of alcohol consumption. At Dental Solutions, we’re always pleased to welcome new patients. For more information on any of the services we offer, you can fill out our simple contact form. You can also book online through this link: https://gavinismydentist.com/contact-us/.

Back to Blog


Get in touch

Treatment -  Dental Solutions Treatment -  Dental Solutions

General Dentistry

A first-class dental service.

Learn More
Treatment -  Dental Solutions Treatment -  Dental Solutions

Cosmetic Dentistry

Learn the magic of a smile makeover.

Learn More
Treatment -  Dental Solutions Treatment -  Dental Solutions

Teath Straightening

Achieve a straighter smile in months.

Learn More
Treatment -  Dental Solutions Treatment -  Dental Solutions

Dental Implants

Your future smile begins with dental implants.

Learn More
Treatment -  Dental Solutions Treatment -  Dental Solutions

Facial Aesthetics

Start afresh with facial rejuvenation.

Learn More
Our Treatments


What our patients say

Google Rating
Google Rating
Google Rating