Wellness Wednesday: Alcohol and oral health

Can drinking affect the health of your teeth?
Posted at 9:26 AM, Jun 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-14 11:26:30-04

IDAHO — Summer is here, and ofen times that means people are drinking more alcoholic beverages. However, alcohol can have a negative impact on your oral health.Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to increased risk for erosion of tooth enamel, tooth discoloration, dry mouth, or even gum disease. Drinks like wine or cider can be very acidic leading to those issues. But doctors say there are warning signs that can point you to those issues.

"If you start feeling like you're teeth are pretty sensitive, especially when you're eating something hot or cold, that can be a warning sign. Frequent mouth sores that are kind of unexplained with lower saliva production. those are all warning signs that it could be alcohol related," says Dr. Justin Frandsen, a dentist with Idaho Smiles.

To avoid damage to tooth enamel, Dr. Frandsen suggests consuming alcohol in moderation, brushing your teeth before you go out as plaque and tartar are magnets for staining, and using a straw to ensure your drink does not make contact as often with your teeth.