Drinking alcohol in excess can be very harmful to your health in numerous ways. That’s hardly a news flash. But even if you drink in healthy moderation, alcohol can still do some damage, and some kinds of alcohol can have more negative effects than others.
This is definitely the case when it comes to alcohol’s effect on your teeth and oral health. The chemical components and sugar content of certain drinks can do more harm to your tooth enamel and strength than other cocktails. Next time you’re out and about ordering a libation, keep in mind the damage that is done by these three worst alcoholic drinks for your teeth:
- Champagne and sparkling wine. Acid destroys tooth enamel, and champagne and other sparkling wines are chock full of it. The high acidity level found in the bubbly can erode your enamel, exposing and gradually eating into the underlying layer of dentin underneath. Not only could excessive acid and the accompanying erosion lead to cavities, it can lead to an off-white or discolored smile, as stain-producing substances cling to dentin more easily that they do to enamel.
- Red wine. Over the past decade, many studies have concluded that moderate consumption of red wine can have health benefits. But the price of benefitting from these upsides is often the downside of discolored teeth and eroding enamel. As with champagne, red wine is highly acidic and can erode your tooth enamel. But the most visible and immediate impact of red wine is the staining it causes. Red wine contains strong pigments which, along with acid and the astringent compounds in tannins, attach themselves to the porous surfaces of your teeth, leaving you with “red wine teeth.” Brushing your teeth before you drink, rinsing your mouth with a swig of water after you drink, and drinking your wine along with fibrous foods that are low in sugar, such as broccoli, celery or hard cheeses, can all help minimize the damage caused by red wine.
- Ciders and sweet wines. Sugar. Sugar. Ciders and sweet wines are full of it. One study found that a single pint of hard cider contains almost as much sugar as a person’s recommended daily intake, and sweet wines are not much better. Sugar sticks to tooth enamel, and those sugar deposits become a food source for oral bacteria and ultimately fuel their growth. Oral bacteria secrete an acid while feeding on the sugar, the acid slowly eats away at tooth enamel, and eventually a “cavity” is formed. When left untreated, the growth of oral bacteria may spread to the gums where it causes infection and the gum disease gingivitis.
Assure A Smile: Miami Holistic Dentistry
At Assure A Smile in Miami, we partner with our patients to help them develop healthy, natural, and effective oral hygiene habits as part of an overall wellness strategy and holistic healthcare approach. This includes being conscious and thoughtful about the food we eat and the beverages we drink. To learn more about the importance of holistic dentistry and how to develop healthier habits for a better you, please contact us today at 305-274-0047.