Our body health and oral health are linked together. What affects one in many cases affects the other. We need to be cognizant of this fact and pay close attention to what we eat and drink as they can impact our health without even realizing it.
Alcohol dries out the mouth because of its dehydrating effects. Dry mouth can leave teeth and gums unprotected by saliva's natural protective coating which contains bacteria which eats away leftover food clinging to teeth. The ability for tissue to heal is impaired by the ingestion of alcohol too.
How is Alcohol Intake Related to Gum Health?
Those who drink to the point of excess are far less likely to adhere to the best practices of oral hygiene. They likely will not brush and floss at the end of a long night of drinking. They do not typically even rinse their mouth out to get rid of food debris.
Patients who drink also consume a lot of snack foods which are known as refined carbohydrates. Fruit juices and even sodas which are used in mixed drinks can complicate things and accelerate tooth decay. The sugars from the cocktails and bacteria from the mouth combine into corrosive acids. These acids typically result in cavities. Many times, heavy drinking results in acid reflux bringing stomach acid into the oral cavity resulting in tooth deterioration.
Gum disease can result from continuous alcohol abuse which can result in gum tissue, bone and eventually tooth loss. With the weakening of gum and bone structure, teeth have no foundation and get loose and can fall out.
With the ingestion of alcohol, saliva can be affected. It plays a key role in maintaining the gums and teeth by keeping them moist and lubricated. Ethanol, which is a key ingredient of alcohol, can make it feel like the patient's gums and teeth are burning. If you have any questions regarding alcohol or gum health you can call us.