Understanding The Risks To Your Teeth From Alcohol Consumption

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Every day millions of people indulge in beverages that contain alcohol. It’s a normal part of our culture to have a drink after work or to get together with friends at the bar for an evening out. College graduations, birthdays, and weddings all have an association with alcoholic beverages as a form of celebrating these important life events. With the drinking of alcohol being such an important part of our culture, we often don’t stop to consider the risks it can pose to our oral health. Below we’re going to talk a little bit about alcohol consumption and the potential complications it has for your oral health.

Understanding The Risk Overconsumption Poses To Our Oral Health

While there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with enjoying the occasional drink, there are serious health risks associated with overconsumption. While every part of your body suffers from indulging in too much drink, there are risks specifically associated with your oral health. As you can see from the points below, this goes beyond mere tooth decay.

  • Oral Cancer: Alcohol consumption has been tied to higher risks of oral cancer, especially when combined with smoking. The two in combination have demonstrated a risk level 38 times higher than in those who don’t do either.
  • Tooth Decay: Studies have shown that those who consume high levels of alcohol are at greater risk of tooth decay and more frequently require restoration and extraction. Periodontitis risk is also higher in these patients.
  • Dental Trauma: Those who indulge in high levels of alcohol consumption are more prone to experience accidents that cause serious dental trauma. This is often due to intoxication-induced falls or traffic accidents.
  • Staining: Dental staining can result from consuming alcohol that is darkly colored. Examples include red wine and dark beers. Over time the dark color of these beverages can find its way into your enamel.

The above risks are easy to avoid, even in those who enjoy the occasional drink. Below you’ll discover a few things you can do to help reduce your risk of oral health complications caused by the consumption of alcohol. Most of them are tied to moderation.

  • Reduce consumption to less than 14 drinks a week.
  • Restrain daily consumption to 2-4 drinks.
  • Refrain from drinking entirely a few days a week.
  • Avoid binge drinking by alternating alcoholic drinks with water.

By following these tips, you can limit the risks posed to your oral health from overconsumption of alcohol. Even if you don’t follow all of them, any steps you take will go a long way to protecting your smile from the risks associated with indulging in adult beverages.

See Your Dentist For Further Advice And Great Oral Health

Your dentist is a valuable resource for information about maintaining your oral health, including understanding the effect that alcohol can have on it. Another great way to prevent the damage that alcohol can pose to your teeth is seeing your dentist bi-annually for regular checkups. They’ll be able to identify any warning signs and guide you on additional steps you can take to protect your smile.

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Dr. Henry Lam DMD

DR. HENRY LAM
Born and raised in Vancouver, Dr. Henry Lam received his Doctor Of Dental Medicine at the University of British Columbia and has full-time dental practice since 2005. After joining 8West Dental Care in August 2014, he’s brought valuable experience to his patients in the Calgary, AB area.

Dr. Henry Lam DMD

DR. HENRY LAM
Born and raised in Vancouver, Dr. Henry Lam received his Doctor Of Dental Medicine at the University of British Columbia and has full-time dental practice since 2005. After joining 8West Dental Care in August 2014, he’s brought valuable experience to his patients in the Calgary, AB area.

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