Summer is on the way out, but it’s still darn hot. You’ve been working in the yard all day long and there’s only one thing that will quench your thirst: an ice-cold IPA. Before you toss back that brew (or wine or liquor-based cocktail), you may want to know how alcohol can affect your teeth.
Out With the Good, In With the Bad
In a study published this April by the NYU School of Medicine, researchers found that the most common problem people had with their oral health after drinking was bacterial imbalance. See … we all have good and bad bacteria, but when alcohol enters the picture, the good bacteria is diminished and the bad bacteria flourishes. Why does this matter? Not only does the good bacteria overpower the bad to reduce the occurrence of tooth decay, it also fights bacteria that can cause infections such as strep throat and, worse, gastrointestinal cancers and heart disease. If you have any form of gum disease, you should be even more concerned, as bleeding gums are essentially an open wound inviting all of your bad mouth bacteria to invade your bloodstream.
Dehydration: The Enemy of Fresh Breath
Another problem with alcohol is that is causes dehydration — including of your oral tissues. Saliva is your body’s first defense against decay and disease, as it helps flush harmful microbes and food particles from your mouth. When saliva doesn’t flow as it should, not only does your risk of decay increase, so does the likelihood of bad breath!
One simple way to minimize the damage caused by drinking alcohol is to drink lots of water between your adult beverages. Not only will it help to prevent dehydration (which your entire body will thank you for), it also helps rinse away food particles and bacteria that aren’t being flushed out by your saliva.
The Dental Solutions of Mississippi team isn’t opposed to a little tipple every now and then, but we do want you to be aware of how your favorite cocktail can affect your mouth. Whether you’re a daily drinker or a teetotaler, we’d love to help you have the smile of your dreams. If you live in Canton, Mississippi, or the surrounding neighborhoods, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.