– Hi, it’s Dr. Shehan from Dentists of Ivanhoe Central. Most Australians enjoy a couple of drinks socially, and you may be wondering the impact that these drinks have on your teeth and your mouth. Well, the answer depends on what you drink, and more importantly how you drink.
Most alcoholic drinks are acidic and are high in sugar, and sipping on these drinks for a long time gives the bacteria in your mouth the fuel they need to start causing decay. The higher the sugar content, the more acidic the drink is. And longer the time period you spend drinking, the worse it is for your teeth.
So let’s look at the different types of alcohol we consume. Most beer and wine are acidic and high in sugar, but generally speaking dry wine and low carb beer will have considerably less sugar. If you like having spirits such as whiskey or vodka, it’s better to have them on ice or just with soda water.
Unfortunately, most cocktails and pre-mixed drinks are very high in sugar. If you have heavily-colored alcohol such as red wine or sangria, they can cause staining of your teeth and you’ll have to visit your dentist to remove these stains.
Now, an often forgotten side effect of alcohol is dehydration, which reduces the amount of saliva in your mouth. This increases the risk of tooth decay as saliva acts to protect your teeth. One way to combat this would be to have a glass of water in between your alcoholic drinks, and as an added bonus you’ll also wake up feeling a lot better the next day.
Alcohol consumption is the second biggest cause of oral cancer, and excessive consumption of alcohol greatly increases this risk of oral cancer. Look, in short, you can still enjoy your alcohol and look after your teeth, by drinking a sensible amount that is low in sugar, in a short period of time, while making sure you stay well-hydrated. Thank you.
If you have any questions about your dental health, feel free to Contacts Us and ask our friendly dental team!