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November 12, 2018 2 min read

Hello, Doctor Ellis for Oral Care Club, discussing alcohol and your teeth and gums. Around this time of year, there's a lot of parties happening, a lot of celebrations, office parties, home parties, holiday seasons going on, and with all of these parties and holiday traditions comes a lot of alcohol consumption, so we get the question a lot what does alcohol consumption do for my teeth and gums, tongue, the whole oral cavity? Am I okay to consume alcohol? And the answer to that is really no. There's three main reasons why.

Number one is, obviously, the sugar content. There's a lot of sugar content in most alcoholic beverages. You increase the sugar, you increase the food for the bacteria in your mouth, and thus the bacteria will produce more acids that will do more damage to your teeth. So the increased alcohol consumption will increase the sugar content, will increase the possible damage to your teeth. Number two is that alcohol actually dehydrates your mouth, which is even worse when put together with the alcohol consumption because what happens is after you consume sugar, your salivary glands produce saliva to try to wash off that sugar, try to balance the pH, try to get your mouth back to a point where there's no damage happening to your teeth.

Well, if the alcohol is dehydrating your teeth and your gum tissues, and the sugars are producing more food for the bacteria, then you're just kind of doubling up and it gets even worse. The third thing is for the coloration of your teeth. This is more of just a cosmetic issue rather than a health issue like the first two, but for anybody who's conscious about the color of their teeth, they want to pay attention. Most of the colors in the, uh, dark the more dark, the red wines, things of that nature, if your alcoholic beverage is dark, it's going to stain your teeth. So, three reasons why not to consume a lot of alcohol if you're super concerned about the oral cavity.

If you're willing to take that risk, well then there's not too much damage possible, but you are running the risk of increased cavities and of darkening your teeth with alcohol consumption. So if alcohol consumption is your concern and your question, there's your answers. Have a good one.