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Alcohol and Your Oral Health

We all know that alcohol abuse is damaging to your entire well being, but the way alcohol affects oral health isn’t something that’s widely known. There are the obviously negative effects of heavy drinking, but you should know that even the occasional drink could be damaging to your oral health.

First and foremost, most alcoholic beverages are very acidic. Anything high in acid is damaging to teeth, since the acid softens and breaks down the tooth’s enamel. Not only can worn enamel weaken the teeth, but also when the enamel is worn all the way down, the nerves of your teeth become exposed, causing pain and sensitivity.

Another consequence of weakened enamel is the appearance of your teeth. When enamel is broken down, it reveals the darker yellow dentine underneath, making your teeth appear dull. Red wines and ports can cause teeth to stain even more, resulting in a yellow smile.

Lastly, but most importantly, alcohol has been linked to mouth cancer. According to Cancer Research UK, around 80% of people suffering from mouth cancers say they frequently drank alcohol. Even more concerning, when combined with smoking, the risk of oral cancer is increased 30 times.

Part of drinking responsibly is making sure you know the effect alcohol can have on your body, and that includes your oral health. To schedule a check up and exam or to talk more about how alcohol can damage your mouth, please make an appointment with Coastal Periodontics in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

Posted on Oct 23, 2015
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