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Serving Royal Oak and the Surrounding Areas
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Serving Royal Oak and the Surrounding Areas

How Can Alcohol Affect Your Teeth?

Red and white wine
While a cocktail or glass of wine every now and then probably won't affect your smile, if you consume alcohol on a regular basis, you may be putting your teeth at risk. Depending on what you drink and how much you consume, your teeth may be at risk for decay or cosmetic concerns.

Check out these different ways alcohol can affect your teeth.

Stains and Discoloration

Alcohol can affect your teeth cosmetically. Many types of alcoholic drinks can cause stains on teeth. Red wine, in particular, is notorious for making your teeth look dingy and discolored. Some mixed drinks (if they contain stain-causing juices or mixes) may also cause some stains.

Food and beverages stains are perfect for teeth whitening procedures, so you can remove the stains. However, if you have tooth-colored fillings or porcelain/composite crowns or veneers, the alcohol may stain them too, and even professional teeth whitening can't whitening fillings, crowns, or veneers, so your smile may remain less-than-perfectly white.

Cavities

Many alcoholic drinks, especially cocktails, contain a lot of sugar, which increases the risk of decay. Even if there isn't a lot of sugar, the drink may be acidic, which can soften and erode enamel. Once the enamel is weakened, bacteria has no problem penetrating and causing a cavity.

Alcohol has also been shown to promote fewer good bacteria and more bad bacteria in the mouth. The more bacteria you have, the higher your risk of decay is if you have sugar and plaque on your teeth.

In addition, alcohol tends to cause dehydration, which means your mouth produces less saliva. Saliva naturally helps to wash away bacteria, so if you don't have enough, the bacteria will stay in your mouth and attack your teeth.

Tooth Infection

A tooth infection is an abscess in a tooth's pulp. This abscess can cause the tooth to slowly die, which can be incredibly painful, especially as the abscess puts pressure on the nerves of the tooth. While trauma to the tooth from a major procedure or accident could cause the infection, it is usually caused by severe decay, which allows bacteria to enter.

If you drink too much alcohol, you have a higher risk of decay and bacteria, so your risk of getting a tooth infection will also increase. This situation is one reason why regular cleanings and minor restorative procedures, such as fillings, is so important.

Gum Disease

If you indulge in alcohol a little too often, you may also put yourself at a higher risk of developing gum disease. Gum disease is also caused by bacteria, but instead of attacking your teeth, it attacks your gums, which can cause recession and gum loss. If left untreated, however, the disease can spread to the jawbone, leading to tooth loss. Naturally, the more bacteria in your mouth, the higher your risk.

Alcohol may also increase your risk of gum disease because it can affect blood flow.

While small amounts of alcohol, particular red wine, may improve your circulatory system, too much can harm it. This situation can cause less blood to reach your gums, further increasing the risk of gum disease. However, in severe cases, over-drinking can also cause heart disease or similar chronic disease, and many chronic diseases can impact your oral health.  

Even if you only drink the recommended amount, you may be putting your teeth at risk. To fully maintain and care for your smile you need to limit foods and beverages that may damage teeth. If you would like more information, or if you would like to schedule a cleaning and examination, contact us today at Royal Oak Dental.
Royal Oak Dental
715 North Main Street
Royal Oak, MI 48067
Phone: 248-398-1818
Fax: 248-398-2031
Email: royaloakdental@gmail.com
Office Hours
Monday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Tuesday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Wednesday: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Thursday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Alternating Saturdays: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sunday: Closed
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Payment Options
Credit Cards
Financing Available
Royal Oak Dental
715 North Main Street
Royal Oak, MI 48067
Phone: 248-398-1818
Fax: 248-398-2031
Email: royaloakdental@gmail.com
Office Hours
Monday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Tuesday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Wednesday: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Thursday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday: Closed
Alternating Saturdays: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sunday: Closed
Social
FaceBook
Payment Options
Credit Cards
Financing Available