Dry January is a chance for us to cut our liver some slack by abstaining from alcohol after a potentially alcohol-heavy Christmas period. However, cutting out alcohol for a month will do more than just give your liver a break- it will greatly improve your oral health as well! Drinking an excess of alcohol can contribute to a plethora of oral health issues, from tooth decay to mouth cancer, so it’s useful to know exactly how alcohol disturbs the balance of the oral ecosystem, and why reducing alcohol consumption throughout the year might be something to consider.
How can Alcohol affect my teeth?
The most significant way in which alcohol affects your teeth is through enamel erosion- many alcoholic drinks are highly acidic, making it easy for your enamel to be stripped away, leading to sensitivity, tooth decay and potential gum disease. As we all know, alcohol can leave you very dehydrated, and this has ramifications for our oral health too! Saliva flow is heavily reduced when dehydrated, which is a problem as saliva protects our teeth from decay through the neutralisation of acids- without saliva, our teeth are defenceless against decay. In addition to this, studies have shown that drinking an excess of alcohol greatly increases the risk of contracting mouth cancer- and if you tend to smoke when you drink, the chances of developing the disease become 30 times more likely! As mouth cancer is one of the few cancers that are on the rise, understanding the link between alcohol consumption and oral cancer is more important than ever.
One of the most common ways in which your oral health can go downhill is simply through neglect of a regular oral hygiene routine. It can be easy to forget to brush your teeth after a night on the town, or whilst feeling a little worse for wear the morning after, yet maintaining a regular brushing schedule is essential if you value your oral health.
These are just some of the many reasons why alcohol is damaging to your oral health, and why your mouth as well as your liver will thank you for undertaking Dry January and potentially cutting down on alcohol intake altogether over the course of 2019. If you are experiencing any issues with your dental health, alcohol related or otherwise, don’t hesitate to give us at London Holistic Dental Centre a call on 020 7487 5221 and we’ll book you an appointment as soon as possible.