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Home Knowledge CenterAlcohol and Your Oral Health

How Does Alcohol Affect Your Oral Health?

When we think of the effects of alcohol use on our health, we generally think of our liver. But what most don’t realize is that drinking too much alcohol can directly affect our oral health as well.

How does alcohol affect your mouth?

Having enough saliva is critical to keeping your mouth clean and healthy. Essentially, saliva helps to water down or wash away the harmful acids produced by plaque. But when you drink alcohol, your saliva production slows down, which can cause dehydration and may contribute to plaque build-up.1

What are common effects of alcohol on teeth and oral health?

Long-term alcohol abuse can lead to a number of oral health issues including:2

  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Dry mouth

If you're going to drink alcohol, here are some tips to help keep your mouth healthy:

  • Drink responsibly and in moderation. If you think you have a problem with alcohol addiction, talk with your doctor or dentist to get help.
  • Drink plenty of water. Drinking water can help wash away food and acid, especially after eating.
  • Brush and floss daily. It’s very important to add flossing to your routine because a toothbrush can’t reach between your teeth where tartar and plaque can form.
  • Visit your dentist. Make regular trips to the dentist to help reduce tartar build-up. While you’re there, be honest with your dentist about your alcohol consumption.

Tags

Alcohol Use Gum Health

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Back to Knowledge Center

1Dry Mouth after Drinking Alcohol, https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/dry-mouth/dry-mouth-after-drinking-alcohol, accessed July 12, 2021

2 The Surprising Truth About Alcohol and Oral Health, https://penndentalmedicine.org/alcohol-and-oral-health/, accessed July 12, 2021

This information is for educational purposes only and is not medical advice. Always consult with your dentist for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing and care recommendations.

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