Does Drinking Alcohol Affect My Oral Health?

Mar 22, 2013

You know that alcohol has an effect on your body—but what about your teeth? In today’s post we discuss how various alcoholic drinks affect the health of your mouth.

You might have comforted yourself by saying that an alcoholic beverage isn’t as bad as a soda, but the fact is—it’s pretty close. The twin problem of mixed drinks, beer and wine is that of sugar and acid content.

Any amount of sugar effectively weakens tooth enamel, making teeth and gums vulnerable to decay and infection. Mixed drinks are the worst, typically having exceedingly high sugar levels. This is due to fruit juices or fruit flavored mixers that counter the bitterness of the alcohol. Wine is a better choice, and beer is the best—when it comes to sugar content. If liquor is your drink of choice, beware of mixing it with anything—even an 8 oz gin & tonic comes to 27 grams of sugar.

Acid accelerates tooth decay. The normal pH level of your mouth is 7.14 on a scale of 1-14, with 1 being the most acidic. It’s optimum to maintain a neutral pH balance in your mouth as much as possible. Unfortunately, all alcoholic beverages are acidic in nature, upsetting that balance.

To mitigate the negative dental consequences of alcohol, make sure to sip water while you enjoy a drink to stay hydrated, and chew sugarless gum with Xylitol to promote healthy saliva production. And of course, enjoy alcohol in moderation.

Is it time for your teeth to get professionally cleaned? Contact Noble Smile today to receive the best dental care in the Katy, Richmond and Fulshear areas.