Alcohol’s Effect on Oral Health

alcohol and oral health

A glass of wine at family dinner. A few beers at the bar while catching up with old friends. A mixed drink or two at the office holiday party. When it comes to alcohol, it’s a fairly standard beverage of choice for U.S. adults. While enjoying it in moderation is reasonable, problems with both overall health and oral health arise when we drink too much.

What’s so Bad About it?

About 25% of all U.S. adults 18 and older have had at least one night of excessive drinking this past year. Besides being potentially dangerous to your overall well being, over-consumption of alcohol can have detrimental affects on your oral health as well. Alcohol is naturally drying, which is a problem when talking about oral health. Your mouth is supposed to be moist and needs saliva to function properly. Without it, dangerous bacteria, sugars, and acids aren’t effectively rinsed away, leaving your teeth exposed to damage.

Know the Risks

At my dental office in Lewisburg, part of our job is to educate and inform our patients as much as possible. And while we aren’t here to tell you to completely refrain from drinking alcohol, we do want to let you know the risks involved when drinking in excess. Some oral health problems that may arise from over-consumption of alcohol include:

  • Tooth Decay
  • Gum Disease
  • Chronic Bad Breath
  • Oral, Throat, and Esophagus Cancer

Protect Your Health

  • Limit Your Drinks. The best way to protect your smile from the damaging effects of alcohol is to limit the amount you drink. It’s also a good rule of thumb to rotate in a glass of water in between alcoholic beverages.
  • Consult a Counselor. If you suspect you have an alcohol problem, we encourage you to find a trusted professional to help.
  • Brush 20 Minutes Post-Drink. Waiting 20 minutes after drinking an alcoholic beverage to brush can reduce the negative effects of the alcohol.
  • Regular Checkups. Visiting your dentist in Lewisburg at least twice a year is crucial to maintaining great oral health. These visits help catch any problems early, and the earlier a problem is caught, the easier and more effective treatment can be.

If it’s been awhile since you’ve seen a dentist, we welcome you to call my Lewisburg dental office. We’re here to keep your mouth, and your body, in the best shape possible.

Welcoming patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, and Williamsport.

Holiday Stress and Your Teeth

holiday stress

It’s that time again. Time for feasts, family, shopping, and all the craziness the holidays bring. Between scheduling parties, buying presents, cooking food, and finding room for the in-laws who just told you last week they’re staying the whole month (ahh!!), stress levels are bound to be high. When we’re stressed, our bodies can become compromised. So can our teeth.

Clenching, Grinding, and Jaw Pain

Clenching and grinding can happen during stress-free periods, but are often brought on because of stress. They can cause tooth damage including chips, cracks, and fractures, and can also lead to severe jaw pain. If you’re experiencing worn down teeth, clicking or popping in the jaw joint, or jaw pain, give your Lewisburg dentist a call.

Gum Disease

One of the more serious oral health concerns is gum disease. Risk factors for developing gum disease can include smoking, diabetes, and dry mouth. More recently, research has shown a correlation between emotions and gum disease. Those in prolonged stressful situations have had a higher incidence of gum disease, and more serious gum disease than those in a more carefree state of mind. Gum disease can lead to tooth loss and whole body concerns like heart disease, so it’s important to avoid the risk factors as much as possible.

Stay Healthy, Relax a Little

At my Lewisburg dental office, we completely understand that sometimes life can be incredibly stressful, especially during the holidays. It’s our mission to educate and help keep all of our patients healthy — both their mouths and their bodies. If you find yourself stressing out a bit this season, try a few of our tips.

  • Eat. Try your best to maintain a healthy, balanced diet to keep your energy levels high, your nutrition complete, and your body and smile in tip-top shape.
  • Sleep. Sleep is such a wonderful thing, and is usually the first thing we sacrifice when our schedules are packed and our lives are crazy. Make sure to set some time aside for your bed, snuggle in, and relax.
  • Exercise. Whether it’s a daily walk, jog, or yoga session, it’s important to keep your blood pumping. Exercise is naturally stress reducing, so don’t skip that gym day.

If you’re feeling the holiday stress and think your oral health may be compromised, give my dental office in Lewisburg a call. We’ll invite you into our relaxing office, check out what’s going on, and work with you to develop a personalized treatment so you can smile with confidence and enjoy this holiday season.

Serving patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, and Williamsport.