Holiday Cheer and your Oral Health

| December 17, 2012

 

MOST PEOPLE UNDERSTAND HOW ALCOHOL affects their bodies, but we rarely talk about how alcohol affects your oral health. With all the parties and gatherings with friends and family during the holidays, it’s a good time to learn more about it.

Consider What You’re Drinking From Your Mouth’s Point Of View

    • Acidity – Most alcoholic drinks are very acidic. This is especially true for drinks that are mixed using sodas and fruit juices. All of this acid can really eat away at your teeth.
    • Staining – Red wine, especially, can stain your teeth. And remember that bonds and newly-whitened teeth are very vulnerable to staining.
    • Extra Sugar – The bitterness in many alcoholic drinks is counteracted with extra sugar, which you may not  notice.
    • Sipping Dangers – After an acidic, sugary drink your mouth works hard to re-establish its pH balance. If you’re sipping drinks over a long period of time, your mouth struggles even more to keep a good balance. It’s like a war zone all evening long.

Some Helpful Ideas

Being more aware of these issues will help you be smart. Here are some ideas:

    • Drink more water. After alcoholic drinks, and throughout the evening, rinse your mouth with water. Drinking more water will also help you avoid dehydration.
    • Sugarless gum can stimulate saliva flow which helps rinse your teeth.
    • Brush and floss before bed regardless of how tired you feel.
    • Use your good sense and moderation for your safety and overall health.

Oral Cancer and Alcohol

Most people don’t know that regular drinking can spike your oral cancer risk. According to an American Cancer Society study a person who consumes alcohol is six times more likely to get oral cancer than someone who doesn’t consume alcohol, and 75-80% of patients with oral cancer are frequent alcohol users.

Oral cancer is a serious killer—so use your good judgment. And, make sure you are visiting your dentist and getting regular oral cancer screenings.  At Grandview Dental Care we provide our patients with oral cancer screenings at their dental cleanings

Questions Or Comments?

Do you have any questions about alcohol’s impact on your oral health? Do you have any tips of your own about how to keep your teeth healthy during that holiday night out? Comment below or on our Facebook page! And if you ever have questions, please ask us at your next appointment or by calling us at 614-486-7378 or sending us an email.

Thanks for the confidence you place in our practice. Have a wonderful holiday season!