Brushing your teeth, flossing them, and visiting the dentist regularly are things we all do to keep our teeth and gums healthy and strong. Avoiding alcohol use is another item you can add to that list. Here are a few of the problems alcohol can create for your oral health.
There are two ingredients in alcohol that can be harmful to the mouth: acid and sugar. Acids eat away at tooth enamel while plaque uses the sugars to create even more acids. This can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
There are several items that have been linked with teeth grinding and clenching at night (also known as bruxism); alcohol is one of these items. Bruxism can create problems with the jaw and can wear and damage your teeth.
Reduced Saliva Production
Alcohol dehydrates the body and dries the mouth. After some time, alcohol can even reduce the production of saliva. This increases the risk of tooth decay because saliva brings in minerals that strengthen enamel and it also neutralizes acids.
Sores In The Mouth
Alcohol irritates oral tissues. Over time, these irritations can develop into painful sores on the inside of the mouth, sores that have the potential to become cancerous.
Because the cells in your mouth are aggravated by alcohol, they are more vulnerable to cancer. Those who drink alcohol are 6 times more likely to develop oral cancer. This figure increases if one also smokes tobacco.