This month holds the potential to be completely alcohol free for those partaking in Dry January, but why does going sober benefit your smile?
What’s so bad about booze?
What you probably know…
Alcohol contains high levels of acids and sugars, both of which contribute to erosion and decay of the tooth’s enamel, leading to sensitivity, cavities and eventually gum disease. Drinking alcohol also contributes to a whole host of other general health issues discussed on our blog How Can Dental Hygiene Affect Your Health?, some of which can impact oral health, such as liver disease and the correlation with periodontitis and tooth loss.
What you may not know…
Hung out to dry
Drinking alcohol leads to dehydration, and that results in more than just a hangover. Dry mouth creates a breeding ground for harmful bacteria that would usually be kept under control by saliva. According to the Oral Health Foundation,in their article on Dry mouth, gel and spray products are the only recognised ways to ease dry mouth symptoms. Prolonged spells of dry mouth can lead to impaired gum tissue healing and mouth ulcers.
When we drink alcohol, our tooth enamel is temporarily weakened due to acid attacks – until saliva works at returning the mouth to it’s usual pH level. With alcohol induced dry mouth slowing this down, teeth can be under attack for much longer periods of time, speeding up the decay process.
Alcohol and oral cancer
Alcohol is classed as a carcinogenic, meaning it contains chemicals that have the potential to cause the development of cancer in humans. Extensive alcohol intake can increase the chances of oral cancer – especially when paired alongside smoking. Information from the association Drinkaware on Alcohol and oral cancer, highlights how cells that are damaged from drinking alcohol can cause DNA changes to occur upon repair, which can in fact develop into cancer.
The cosmetic side of things
Not only can alcohol damage the health of your teeth and gums, but also smile appearance! Repetitive exposure to dark alcoholic beverages such as red wine can lead to stubborn stains and discolouration. Not only this, but this article about Three Things To Consider Before You Drink suggests alcohol can cause general dullness in the teeth as well as stains. Regular alcohol intake increases the risk of gum disease, which can contribute to bleeding gums, and bone damage if the infection is left untreated for long enough leading to tooth loosening or loss.
Dry January – start your wellbeing journey
During the month of Dry January you can expect to feel increased energy levels whilst your body experiences improved rest and sleeping patterns, as well as rehydration, a decrease in empty calories, and of course some financial savings!!
In terms of oral health, the risk of cavities and other diseases developing will begin to reduce, as well as an improvement in bad breath, tooth sensitivity and dry mouth symptoms.
So let’s kickstart the new year with a dental check-up via your smartphone, and begin your health and wellbeing journey with Smiletronix.
Download our app now