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Alcohol and Teeth

Posted on 8/10/2016 by Jonathan Woodyard
A woman drinking a large glass of wine.One of the major known parts of alcohol is its ability to kill bacteria. While medicine was still in its infancy, doctors did know that applying alcohol to wounds would help keep infection at bay. So, based on that idea, one may conclude that alcohol is actually healthy for your teeth.

Is alcohol good for your teeth?

A study reported by Medical News Today, found that red wine does in fact kill the oral bacteria called streptococci, which is associated with tooth decay. Beyond that study, the other news is not as positive. There are many down side effects with the consumption of alcohol.

People who exceed about eight alcoholic drinks a week have been found to be causing havoc to their dental health, in fact dentists are often able to identify early stages of alcoholism in patients due to the state of their gums and teeth. Patients who drink excessively have higher incidence of cavities, gum deterioration, and tooth loss.

What does alcohol do to my teeth?

Overall, alcohol is not generally considered a healthy decision. There are both short term and long term effects that excessive alcohol plays on your body, from the brain, to blood sugar, to the liver, and your teeth. Patients who struggle with alcohol dependency have been found to:

•  Suffer from dry mouth. Alcohol dries out the mouth, reducing saliva, which is the body's natural way to reduce levels of plaque and remove food particles and bacteria.
•  Have higher incidence of cavities or caries. This may be associated with dry mouth, or added sugar or acid from lemon often found in drinks, but the damage to teeth is consistent.
•  Gum Disease is a common problem among most Americans, but add to that already high number, a dry mouth, and the gums almost have no chance. The instance of tooth loss is much higher in patients who consume large amounts of alcohol.
•  An increased risk to oral cancer. Behind smoking tobacco, alcohol consumption is the second highest risk factor to developing oral related cancers.

Please contact us if you have any questions about alcohols effects on your oral health.


Woodyard Dental Care, PSC

Dr. Jonathan Woodyard, DMD

3235 Olivet Church Road
Paducah, KY 42001



Phone: (270) 408-1321

Fax: (270) 408-1323


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