In addition to other health problems, excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages can also harm the condition of your oral health.
Oral cancer and other oral-related issues overtime are at a higher risk of occurring in alcoholics over those who never or only frequently drink.
With over 30,000 newly diagnosed oral cancer cases each year in the United States, this just goes to prove that oral care is not taken into account the way it should be.
Because alcohol contains an acidic pH and because alcoholics often vomit more than non-alcoholics, these acids can deteriorate the enamel overtime, which is why cavities and gum disease form in the first place.
Cavities may be temporary if caught early; however, tooth loss can occur in place of cavities if not taken care of. As for gum disease, one it progresses to a severe stage, there is no longer cure but only methods of treatment. These issues are clearly threats for drinkers.
Even worse, some people try to cover up their “alcohol breath” by brushing right after drinking an alcoholic beverage when really, this just rubs the acidic beverage harder and deeper within the teeth and causing further and quicker deterioration of the enamel.
Waiting at least a half hour after drinking or eating anything acidic allows the acids to neutralize and is therefore much safer than brushing right afterwards. Rinsing the mouth with water is ideal to wash away any excess alcohol in the mouth before the 30 minutes is up.
Those who both drink and smoke pose an even greater risk of oral cancer and other health problems that often go undiagnosed or are diagnosed once the problem has already progressed. For this reason, it’s important to keep in contact with your dentist when oral health problems or concerns do arise.
As well as this, maintaining the proper dental routine (brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash twice a day) is vital as well as visiting the dental for biannual dental checkups/cleanings.
Attending these biannual appointments not only means thoroughly cleaned teeth, but it also means diagnosis and quick treatment of any presently occurring oral-related problems to prevent worse problems in the near future.
So, how much is “too much” alcohol?”
For women, consuming more than one alcoholic beverage per day is considered high risk for oral health problems.
More than two alcoholic beverages a day for men is considered heavy drinking and harmful for the oral health. Remember, drinking in moderation reduces your risks of oral cancer, cavities, gum disease, and other oral-related problems than would drinking heavily.
Cutting back on both smoking and drinking will lower the risks of oral-related issues. Quitting these habits altogether will reduce risks even more.
However, keeping things in moderation is key to a healthy lifestyle overall. In addition, caring for the teeth through oral health routines and dental visits at least twice a year (as mentioned previously) is just as important.
Smokers and drinkers should pay more attention that ever before to their oral health.