Dental Care

Your Teeth Could Drown and Suffer from Alcohol Abuse Too

**Before we proceed, we’d like to tell our readers that alcohol use disorder (AUD) is serious. If you ever assume that you may be suffering from it or if you know (or suspect) someone suffering from this disorder, visit your nearest drug and substance abuse centers or contact your local alcohol abuse hotlines for treatment.**

Drinking alcoholic beverages like beer and wine is something that a lot of us enjoy. We usually consume these intoxicating drinks during social occasions like birthdays, holidays, or even when we’re attending parties. Alcohol consumption usually isn’t a problem in itself and can even be a part of a healthy lifestyle—if done moderately. But it is possible for a person to be easily addicted to its euphoric effects.

Alcohol addiction paves the way toward overconsumption, and when a person consumes too much alcohol than they should, they open themselves up to danger. Prolonged overconsumption can lead to long-term negative effects on one’s liver, brain, and blood sugar levels. However, the body parts that are probably the first ones to suffer aren’t talked about as much—the human teeth.

Enamel Degradation and Breakdown

Our teeth play an important role in food digestion, and they initiate the digestive system’s process. Our teeth break down the food we eat into smaller pieces, so it’s easier for the esophagus to swallow and for the stomach to digest. However, food isn’t the only thing we’re consuming and, consequently, passing through our teeth either because water and other beverages come into contact with them too. This makes them vulnerable to damaging substances, which includes alcohol.

Pure alcohols like ethanol pose no threat to our teeth because they can’t cause damage to them. The main culprits are alcoholic beverages like liquors, mixed drinks, and certain types of beers due to these beverages’ high levels of acidity and high sugar content. These chemicals break down the enamel that protects our teeth, which can later lead to an increase of periodontal disease, cavities, and long-term tooth decay.

No Longer Practicing Good Oral Hygiene

People who are addicted to alcohol also tend to lose some form of self-grooming, so they end up forgetting to brush their teeth. Poor dental hygiene poses a significant risk because it increases a person’s chance of getting abscesses or infections in their mouths, which can potentially be dangerous if left untreated.

Alcohol is also corrosive to the sensitive gum tissues in the mouth, damaging them and creating a scenario where the gums can no longer properly support or protect the teeth. It’s also possible for those addicted to alcohol to stop visiting their dentists where state-of-the-art equipment like newly innovated dental chairs could help them care for their patients efficiently.

Decreased Production of Saliva

Though alcohol might seem to be quenching, alcohol can actually dehydrate you and make your mouth dry. (Not to mention that alcohol is a diuretic, which means you’re likely to get up to urinate more often.) The right amount of saliva is needed to create a healthy environment for the mouth to keep it moist to help get rid of bacteria, prevent plaque from clinging to the tooth surface, and wash the sugar away from the teeth and gums. Since they’re mostly dehydrated, alcoholics, unfortunately, have dry mouths, which is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and for infections to take place.

Developing Teeth Stains

Stains on clothes can really put people off. This certainly could dampen anyone’s confidence. But now imagine having stains on your teeth. What usually causes teeth with stains are certain beverages that have high chromogens, the substance responsible for giving beverages their colors. Alcohol is one of those beverages, and the chromogens in alcohol easily attach to teeth that have been compromised by the acid in beers and certain liquors, which then leaves a noticeable stain on a person’s teeth.

Getting yourself a glass of wine or a cold bottle of beer isn’t entirely wrong. It’s okay to drink because it helps some people relax, while some feel more confident when they drink it. (Never be too confident to drink and drive, though!) But if you’re trying to avoid teeth damage and want to be healthier overall, moderation is the key. Keep your glasses half full and your bottles at a minimum so you could keep those pearly whites sparkling!


We are nutritionist, health writer's, and food bloggers. Check it out our latest health & wellness articles on fitness, diet, and healthy living.

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