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26th November 2014

Alcohol and your teeth

Alcohol is widely used and consumed drug in the UK. In moderation it poses little hazard but over time, excess consumption can wreak damage on your teeth and general health. Information provided by the NHS changes 4life website provides a checker for you to keep on top of your alcohol consumption. Current guidelines (as of 14/01/2014) set by the NHS advise us not to consume more than 3-4 units per day for men and 2-3 units per day for women (http://www.nhs.uk/Change4Life/).

Alcohol is broken down by your liver, a vital organ responsible for the regulation and maintenance of chemicals in your body. Liver damage can lead to poor health and severe cases death. Reducing or eliminating alcohol is best way to stay alive leading a full and healthy life. The lifestyle choices you make today will determine your future.

Alcohol and tooth damage

Mixing alcohol with other sugar based drinks is common. Cola and juice based drinks are highly acidic and high in sugar which in turn cause both acid damage and tooth decay. Acid damage is irreversible meaning that when the tooth enamel is worn down the acid, it cannot be undone.

Alcohol and staining

Red wine is notoriously associated with stained teeth. Red wines, although having some reported health benefits, are usually high in sugar, acidic and stain teeth making them look unsightly over time. Dental check ups on a regular basis are necessary to check for early signs of tooth decay and your hygienist will be able to remove staining.

Calories in alcoholic drinks

Alcohol in wines, beers and when mixed with soft drinks have high sugar and calorie contents. As trends are changing, Dentists are noticing more and more tooth decay and tooth damage. Controlling the quantity and type of alcoholic beverages can change the effects it has on your teeth and general health.

Mouthrinses and Alcohol

Some leading brands use alcohol as a carrying agent to dissolve their main ingredients. Alcohol changes the property of your gums making them more susceptible to chemicals. As a precaution where ever possible your dental care should have an alcohol free mouthrinse. Your dentists will be able to advise you which brands are best for your individual need.

Oral Cancer Risk

Smoking increases the risk of mouth cancer by a factor of 10. Alcohol can increase oral cancer risk by a factor of 4. A combination of smoking and drinks increases your oral cancer risk by a factor of 40. Oral cancer is an uncommon but debilitating disease affecting 1 in 50 adults in the UK. Where ever possible it is best to avoid a combination of drinking and smoking as synergistically they have devastating outcomes.

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