The Effects Of Alcohol On Teeth

When you’re out on a Friday or Saturday night, understandably the last thing on your mind is likely to be your teeth.

Most people are familiar with tooth decay and the causes of it – the main one being consumption of sugar containing food and drinks. However, if you’re out drinking and have drinks without added sugar, your teeth are still at risk from tooth erosion.

Most people are not aware or erosion affecting their teeth until it gets to an advanced level where the teeth may start looking smaller in size; look darker in colour due to loss of enamel or start becoming sensitive.

Brightside Dental’s practice principal Ketan discusses the issues further and advises on how you can protect your teeth :

Dental erosion is the wearing away of your teeth due to acidic things, which can either be from the food drinks you consume or sometimes other factors, such as illness or medications. A measure of acid levels is by pH. 7 is a neutral pH and anything below 5.5 will start to damage teeth.The lower the pH of a drink, the more chance your teeth have of eroding. Beer has a pH of 4-5; wine has a pH of 2-4; Coke’s pH is 2.7 and a gin & tonic 2.2. Sparkling mineral water comes in at 3.7.

What Can You Do To Help Protect Your Teeth?

  • Stick to plain water which is pH neutral. This may not be a feasible option and is a bit boring
  • If you have low pH drinks, limit the frequency of intake and avoid sipping on drinks for a long period of time as the acidic levels in your mouth will remain high
  • Drink plenty of water in between alcoholic drinks as this will reduce the acidic levels and also stimulate saliva production, which is protective of your teeth
  • Drink through a straw as the liquid will be in contact less with your teeth
  • Don’t brush your teeth for at least 30 minutes after drinking as you may do more damage
  • Chew sugar free gum in between drinks to improve saliva flow and reduce acid levels faster
  • Eat foods that stimulate saliva flow such as nuts or vegetables
  • Avoid alcoholic drinks that also contain sugar as then you run the risk of erosion of the teeth as well as dental decay
  • Use a toothpaste that helps protect teeth against acid erosion

If you would like further advice, give us a call on 020 88884401.