Is Alcohol Bad for Your Teeth? The Effect of Drinking on Oral Health

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Perhaps you pair your dinner with a glass of vino nightly, await the weekend to uncork and unwind, or celebration hardy with photographs now and again. In any case, likelihood is you’re conscious that alcoholic bevs, whereas enjoyable to imbibe, are usually not essentially health-supporting tonics. It may mess up your sleep, freak out your gut, and probably even make you stinky. (To not point out the hangovers and anxiousness over-imbibing can deliver.)

However contemplating it appears to be “dangerous” for every little thing else, have you ever ever puzzled if alcohol is dangerous on your enamel and gums? We requested a dentist to present us the news.

Is alcohol dangerous on your enamel?

Sadly, sure, alcohol is fairly dangerous on your enamel (and gums!), says Tyler Hales, DDS, a beauty dentist in Los Angeles and South Orange County, California. “For one, alcohol may cause you to have a dry mouth1,” he begins. It isn’t simply an disagreeable feeling (though it’s that, too). Dry mouth means you’ve much less saliva, which generally acts as a buffer in opposition to micro organism and helps produce vitamins for wholesome enamel. Much less saliva transforms your mouth right into a extra acidic setting, which might enable micro organism to proliferate and result in a number of points like tooth decay and cavities.

Alcohol consumption has a damaging and proportional impact on every little thing from plaque buildup, gum bleeding, the dimensions of pockets between gums and enamel (which might harbor micro organism and trigger tissue and bone injury), and the presence/severity of periodontitis.

Extreme consumption of alcohol over time can also be dangerous on your gums, too. In accordance with a 2015 examine within the Journal of Periodontology, alcohol intake has a negative and proportional effect2 on every little thing from plaque buildup, gum bleeding, the dimensions of pockets between gums and enamel (which might harbor bacteria and cause tissue and bone damage), and the presence/severity of periodontitis (a gum illness that inflames your tissues). Principally, the extra you drink/extra typically you drink, the extra possible you might be to have critical tooth and gum issues.

In some circumstances, ingesting can have very critical penalties in your oral well being. Per the National Cancer Institute, alcohol consumption additionally heightens the chance of oral cavity, pharynx (throat), and larynx (voice field) cancers, with probably the most pronounced odds for heavy drinkers.

“A lot of the results of alcohol are long-term and [may] rely on the kind of alcohol,” Dr. Hales continues. As an example, should you favor candy cocktails or different sugary grownup bevs, you additional increase the risk of oral well being points. (Extra sugar consumption can also be associated with cavities.) Pink wine and different darkish alcohols can result in staining and discoloration, which can compound over time. In additional extreme circumstances, “stronger alcohol goes to have stronger results on the oral cavity, comparable to extra dry mouth and the next danger of most cancers,” Dr. Hales warns.

How a lot alcohol is sufficient to do injury?

There isn’t any exhausting or quick rule about how a lot alcohol you need to drink to wreck your enamel and gums, as a result of there are such a lot of variables that may affect alcohol’s results. (Like, how a lot you drink, and the way typically, different underlying well being points you might have, and so on.)

However basically, the extra you drink over time, the extra possible you might be to have well being penalties. “It’s at all times exhausting to inform a timeline as a result of everyone seems to be totally different, however extra frequent [intake means a] increased likelihood of points and concern,” says Dr. Hales. “Your informal drinks with associates won’t have a excessive impact on the general well being, however a glass of wine an evening may play a task.”

Pink wine and different darkish alcohols can result in staining and discoloration, which can compound over time. In additional extreme circumstances, “stronger alcohol goes to have stronger results on the oral cavity, comparable to extra dry mouth and the next danger of most cancers,” Dr. Hales warns.

Nevertheless, do not let this info freak you out unnecessarily. As is the case with most issues in life, moderation is essential. You don’t essentially want to put off the exhausting stuff fully should you take pleasure in a social drink with associates. However being aware about your consumption—together with your habits throughout and after ingesting—might help you retain your smile and whole oral setting in higher form.

To cut back the chance of tooth staining, “don’t swish [your drink] round in your mouth, however drink it shortly,” Dr. Hales advises. “Observe up ingesting alcohol with plenty of water, which is at all times a good suggestion anyhow.” (Except you want, take pleasure in hangovers one way or the other…)

It may additionally sound counterintuitive, however no matter you do, do not brush your enamel instantly after ingesting. Dr. Hales suggests ready a minimum of 30 to 60 minutes earlier than brushing up. That is very true after ingesting crimson wine or different darker coloured alcohols. Pink wine is similar to coffee in that it’s extremely acidic, which softens the protecting enamel of your enamel. Scrubbing too quickly after ingesting (even should you’re simply making an attempt to get off that crimson wine stain!) can set off sensitivities.

Sure, alcohol can harm your enamel and gums when consumed in extra over time. However a drink now and again is not prone to trigger any lasting injury.

The underside line: Sure, alcohol can harm your enamel and gums when consumed in extra over time. However a drink now and again is not prone to trigger any lasting injury. So drink mindfully, and sustain together with your regular good brushing and flossing habits.


Properly+Good articles reference scientific, dependable, current, strong research to again up the data we share. You may belief us alongside your wellness journey.


  1. Inenaga, Kiyotoshi et al. “Thirst sensation and oral dryness following alcohol consumption.” The Japanese dental science evaluate vol. 53,3 (2017): 78-85. doi:10.1016/j.jdsr.2016.12.001

  2. Lages, Eugênio J P et al. “Alcohol Consumption and Periodontitis: Quantification of Periodontal Pathogens and Cytokines.” Journal of periodontology vol. 86,9 (2015): 1058-68. doi:10.1902/jop.2015.150087


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