Alcohol abuse has many adverse effects on your physical and mental health. It can lead to addiction, illnesses from ulcers to cancers, exacerbated depression and anxiety and accidents or injury, among many more.
And it also has direct and indirect devastating effects on your oral health. This is mainly because you primarily use your teeth, gums and mouth to consume drinks.
And the most straightforward way alcohol affects your teeth and gums comes from its nature of being corrosive to soft tissues. Additionally, most drinks are acidic and sugary, attracting bacteria in your mouth that can cause cavities and gum disease.
Also, alcohol abuse can cause you to lose interest in proper oral hygiene, allowing for a complex of problems to occur. And there’s more.
This article will break down how alcohol abuse can have a negative impact on your oral health.
7 Ways Alcohol Abuse Impacts Your Teeth and Gums.
- Alcohol dries the mouth, leaving it vulnerable to bacteria.
- Most alcoholic drinks can contribute to gum disease and cavities.
- Alcohol is corrosive and can damage soft oral tissue.
- Food and other vices you consume while drinking can damage your teeth and gums.
- Alcohol abuse can change your behavior towards oral hygiene.
- Being regularly intoxicated leaves you susceptible to oral injuries.
- Alcohol abuse can lead you to lose your teeth quicker.
Impact No. 1: Alcohol dries the mouth, leaving it vulnerable to bacteria.
The saliva in your mouth works as the body’s natural antibacterial cleanser. And the amount of saliva your mouth produces is reduced by alcohol usage.
And when you abuse alcohol, you can have long periods of dry mouth.
Saliva helps wipe away plaque, bacteria, and even sugar from the teeth and gums, keeping them healthy and disease-free. So without it, you will become susceptible to oral health problems.
Without the proper amount of saliva, the mouth becomes dry, making bacteria and infection more likely to occur and cause problems.
Impact No. 2: Most alcoholic drinks can contribute to gum disease and cavities.
Most people drink alcoholic drinks that are acidic or sugary. For example, many wines, cocktails and mixers can be highly acidic and sweet.
First of all, being acidic, the drinks can erode your teeth’s surface or enamel. Worn down enamel causes tooth sensitivity and vulnerability to infection.
Second of all, being sweet and sugary, the drinks can attract bacteria and plaque buildup that can infect your teeth and gums, causing cavities and periodontal disease.
Impact No. 3: Alcohol is corrosive and can damage soft oral tissue.
Alcohol appropriately used can be good for your teeth. It is naturally antibacterial, which is why some mouthwash products contain it.
But when you drink on a regular, abusive basis, the amount of alcohol you intake is enough to cause damage to soft gum and mouth tissues.
This increases your risk of gum disease and can lead to a situation where your gums can no longer appropriately protect or support your teeth.
Impact No. 4: Food and other vices you consume while drinking can damage your teeth and gums.
Alcohol abuse is associated with other damaging habits, including smoking, using other drugs and consuming unhealthy foods, especially while drinking.
Tobacco and alcohol usage are two activities that are inextricably intertwined. As a result, not only are people who drink more likely to smoke (and vice versa), but people who consume more alcohol tend to smoke more.
And smoking has an entire world of damage to your teeth and gums.
Some of the most apparent effects of smoking on your oral health are the following.
- Nicotine from smoking can dry your mouth.
- The tar it produces can stain your teeth.
- It can give you bad breath.
- It can cause oral ulcers and cancers.
On the other hand, when you drink, you are most probably eating foods that may exacerbate bacterial buildup and cause oral illnesses.
Drinking foods like pizza, burgers, fast food items, and other junk foods can be chock full of starches and sugars that cling to your teeth and attract bacteria.
Coupled with bad oral hygiene, these foods can speed up decay and infection in your teeth and gums.
Impact No. 5: Alcohol abuse can change your behavior towards oral hygiene.
When you regularly have to withdraw from drinking or are intoxicated for most of the day, you probably will not be too enthusiastic when it comes to hygiene.
The lethargy you experience while hungover or drunk can lead you to become inactive when it comes to cleaning your teeth and gums properly.
And if you drink daily, you probably won’t make time to go to a dentist for checkups or even when you already are experiencing pain. After all, drinking simply numbs everything down.
What’s dangerous about that is you are leaving your oral problems unchecked and exacerbating in time.
Also, suppose you pass out after a night of drinking sweet, acidic alcoholic drinks paired with smoking and eating unhealthy foods. If so, your mouth becomes host to a bacterial infestation the entire time you’re asleep.
And if that situation happens often or, worse, regularly, you’ll suffer oral health problems quickly, causing you long-term pain and discomfort.
Impact No. 6: Being regularly intoxicated leaves you susceptible to oral injuries.
Being drunk means that you won’t have complete control of your macro and micro motor skills. And intoxication also impairs your memory and decision making.
This leads you to become susceptible to accidents and injuries.
And when you have an injury in your mouth, it can disrupt many bodily functions that you need, like eating or speaking.
Mouth injuries can also lead you to suffer problems that may need a lot of money to fix. And one really bad injury can make you lose your teeth abruptly.
Impact No. 7: Alcohol abuse can lead you to lose your teeth quicker.
Alcohol abuse leaves you with the possibility of a devastating injury to the mouth and the gradual decay and degradation of your teeth and gums. This combination of problems increases the chance of you losing your teeth.
When you lose your teeth, you will need to replace them in order to eat, speak and smile properly. But getting treatments can be expensive, especially with the potential gum disease also given by alcohol abuse.
Get sober and start a healthy lifestyle today.
Suppose you or anyone you care about is having problems with alcohol use, misuse or abuse. In that case, it can only take time until something terrible happens to your mental, physical and oral health.
Any damages can cause you long-term discomfort and pain.
But you can find a way out of the situation.
Contact an addiction detox center today and start your journey to a better life.