With alcohol’s negative impacts on the brain and liver, sometimes the effects it has on your teeth go unnoticed.
Alcohol is corrosive to the soft tissue in your oral cavity, and as a result can increase your chances of gum disease. Gum disease involves your gums being eroded. When your gum line recedes as a result, your teeth are exposed and lack support. Studies have found even five drinks a week increase your chances of gum disease by 10 percent. Raise that to 20 drinks a week and your chances of gum disease go as high as 40 percent.
Drinking also suppresses production of saliva in the mouth. Saliva serves as an antibacterial cleansing agent. As a liquid, it washes down sugars, bacteria, and plaque so nothing stays stationary in your mouth.
Unfortunately, people don’t drink just alcohol alone. Beers and many kinds of mixed drinks have high levels of sugar or may be acidic, which can be detrimental to your tooth enamel. The sugars are broken down by the plaque, which produces acids that break down your teeth. This contributes to developing cavities and other forms of tooth decay.
Research has also found that drinking can increase your chances of getting oral and throat cancer. Alcohol can affect the way in which cells divide. The reason this is such as risk is because alcohol comes in contact with a large oral surface area (your tongue, cheeks, gums, and lips).
Drinking can also result in simply neglecting brushing and flossing at night. You might have the urge to just go straight to bed. After a night out drinking, you will want to be attentive to making sure you brush before bed.