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Social activity and drinking may date back to ancient times, but that doesn’t mean that alcohol consumption isn’t without risk, particularly to your oral health.  Here are the facts you need to know about the effects of alcohol on your mouth:

-Oral Cancer- All cancers are horrible, and when possible it is best to try and prevent them from developing.  Heavy drinking has been found to strongly correlate with oral cancer. Other lifestyle choices such as hookah and smoking further compound this effect.  If you are partaking in such activities see your dentist regularly to monitor your condition and to conduct oral screenings. Early diagnosis of any cancer is essential because that is when the condition is most treatable!

-Tooth Decay- Anytime teeth are exposed to a sugary, acidic environment bacteria grow and prosper.  As a result teeth become decayed and infected. After drinking any beverage that is sweet or acidic it is always good to drink or rinse with water to balance the pH levels of the mouth, decreasing the rate of bacterial growth and encouraging teeth to rebuild during remineralization.  

-Periodontal Disease- Excessive alcohol consumption irritates gum tissue and increases the risk of pockets in the gum tissue developing.  If too much gum tissue is worn away teeth can become loose. If the amount of tissue loss is too great, an extraction may be necessary.

-Synergy with Other Drugs- Alcohol is a depressant which results in the nervous system and metabolic rate of the human body slowing down.  Sleeping medications are also relaxants. When both are used together the drugs have stronger symptoms. Sleep Apnea may develop from this because the muscles in the mouth and throat relax, preventing air from entering your lungs.

Those that drink large amounts of alcohol often also tend to have poor dental hygiene habits. Remember to brush your teeth twice daily, floss and rinse. Moderation and healthy lifestyle habits are always best, but if you think drinking is having negative consequences on your oral health, visit  Smiles Unlimited Dentistry, P.C. for an exam today.