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5 Myths About How Alcohol Affects Your Oral Health

Friends drinking beer

At the end of a long week of hard work or when celebrating an exciting event, many like to relax and enjoy themselves with a well-deserved adult beverage. You know that drinking on the regular isn’t good for your overall health, but you may not be thinking about how it can affect your smile. Continue reading to learn from your dentist about the relationship between alcohol and oral health in Marble Falls, TX.

Myth 1 – Alcohol Has No Effects on Oral Health

There are all sorts of oral health issues that you are at higher risk of if you drink alcoholic beverages regularly. This even includes deadly diseases, like oral cancer. Alcohol abuse is the second leading cause of this type of cancer. It also causes you to develop dry mouth which fuels enamel erosion and buildups of plaque and tartar. In the end, if you are a heavy drinker, you are more likely to develop cavities and periodontal disease over time.

Myth 2 – Alcohol Keeps Your Teeth Clean

You know that alcohol is used to clean other things, but why wouldn’t this apply to your smile? The truth is that many drinks are very highly acidic which causes your tooth enamel to soften, putting you at increased risk of tooth decay. Drinking large quantities of alcohol leads to dry mouth and can induce vomiting, which is highly acidic and extremely damaging to the teeth.

Myth 3 – Drinking Alcoholic Beverages Keeps You Hydrated

You are told that by drinking plenty of fluids, you will stay hydrated throughout the day. However, alcoholic beverages are an exception. Drinks that contain alcohol dry out your mouth which leads to bad breath, plaque buildup, and bacterial growth. Eventually this causes tooth decay and gum disease. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially if you indulge in an alcoholic drink.

Myth 4 – Beer Doesn’t Stain Your Teeth

Along with being highly acidic, some beers are made from darker barley and malts. If you drink beer frequently, especially darker beers, it will become apparent on your smile. Your teeth will begin to develop a yellow or brown tint that isn’t cosmetically appealing and is difficult to get rid of.

Myth 5 – Adding Citrus Makes Drinks Healthier for Your Teeth

You may like a squeeze of lime, lemon, or orange juice in your drink depending on the beverage. However, adding even just a squeeze of citrus to a drink adds enough acid to eat away at your tooth enamel leading to tooth decay, sensitivity, and other issues in the future.

Next time you want to have a drink, keep your smile in mind. These beverages are best saved for occasions or even cut out completely. Your entire body, including your smile, will thank you!

About the Author

Dr. Greg Ritchie has been practicing dentistry for over 18 years. He earned his dental degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and is passionate about continuing education in order to stay up to date with the latest innovations in the dental field. Dr. Ritchie is a member of the American Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. For more information on taking care of your smile or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (830) 693-8833.


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