Drinks with AlcoholWhat are the Effects on Teeth?

Dentally speaking, is drinking alcohol a good thing or a bad thing for your teeth and gums?

As with everything alcohol-related, there are positives and negatives. On the one hand, a mixer-free shot of vodka is probably less hazardous than caramel candies, which coat the teeth with a sticky goo that practically begs for cavities. On the other hand, every kind of alcohol—most notoriously drinks with sugary mixes—is chock-full of sugar.

Sugar is the primary source of energy for plaque bacteria. These bacteria are the villains that cause cavities, tooth decay, and plaque that can lead to periodontal disease. As plaque bacteria process sugar, they produce a variety of acids as metabolic by-products; some of these acids go to work immediately to dissolve the teeth.

Because of these factors, cutting back on any source of sugar can make a difference to your mouth. Consider replacing it with raw fruits, veggies, and unsalted nuts.

Alcohol and Your Life

The effects of alcohol on our lives are too significant to ignore. Drinking is, unfortunately, a fundamental component of our culture.

A champagne toast to the bride and groom are at one end of this spectrum; a weekend binge by irresponsible children resulting in tragedy and death are at the other. As with so many things in life, the balance lies somewhere in between.

Regarding alcohol, perhaps the most balanced advice would be: if you don’t drink, don’t start. If you do drink, know your limits. If you’re exceeding your limits, seek help now!