Alcohol abuse presents a growing problem in the United States. Although people know about the problems of excessive alcohol consumption, like cirrhosis of the liver and other metabolic and circulatory problems, they still do not fully comprehend the impact it has on the body and teeth.
Pure alcohol does not damage the teeth, but most people do not consume this type of alcohol. A large variety of beverages like beer, liquor, vodka and whiskey are drinks that contain a high sugar level and have a high acidity. As a result the enamel that protects your teeth breaks down resulting in a high risk of cavities, long-term tooth decay and periodontal disease.
It is known that people who suffer from alcohol abuse regularly forget to brush their teeth. With the poor dental hygiene, long term repercussions are to be expected. Leaving aside the risk of cavities, poor oral hygiene increases the risk of abscesses and infection in the mouth, which are dangerous if left untreated.
Alcohol abuse is also one of the main causes of damaging the soft tissue in the mouth. Alcohol is corrosive to the tissue of the gums, thus increasing the risk of gum disease. Gum disease is a condition where the gum tissue erodes away from the tooth, resulting in a state where the teeth are no longer protected and supported adequately. With the increased bacteria levels resulted from a poor oral hygiene, the gum tissue can be affected and even the root of the tooth, increasing the risk of tooth decay or even loss.
Alcohol abuse is decreasing the average level of saliva in the mouth and also increases the level of acidity of the saliva itself. With a high pH level (above 5.5) the teeth start to lose calcium and phosphate increasing the risk of cavities and tooth decay. Furthermore, the healthy saliva also has the role of re-mineralization. This process is putting back the lost calcium and phosphate that you previously lost. Without natural saliva, the mouth becomes dry, resulting in an ideal environment for the bacteria and infection to develop. Recent studies have shown that people who suffer from alcohol abuse have a higher risk of throat and mouth cancer as a result of bacterial build up and the tissue damage.
A visit to the dentist is not the easiest thing to do when trying to get sober, but remember that a poor oral hygiene can damage your overall body health. Taking care of your body, means taking care of all your other body functions and system, including your oral health. A dentist can also recommend the best methods of taking care of your gums and your teeth. He can give you a custom treatment designed exclusively for your condition. For more information contact your dentist and schedule an appointment.