There’s plenty of evidence that shows drinking alcohol—even in moderate amounts—can have negative effects on your health. It’s hard on your liver, can cause weight gain, and is even a risk factor for cancer. But did you know that it can also wreak havoc on your oral health, too?

Here are a few ways that alcohol can cause negative effects on your teeth, gums, and mouth:

  • It causes mouth dryness, which leads to gum disease and tooth decay.

A dry mouth isn’t just an unpleasant sensation—it can be bad for your teeth and gums. When your saliva production is decreased, your chances of having bad breath and an abundance of plaque increase. In some cases, dry mouth can even lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

  • It can stain your teeth.

Many things can stain teeth, including coffee, cigarettes, and some alcoholic beverages. Red wine is a major culprit for staining teeth, as are many dark beers. And if you prefer cocktails, know that mixing even clear liquors with dark soda can also stain your teeth.

  • It can erode the enamel on your teeth.

Many types of alcohol beverages are highly acidic, especially when they’re mixed with certain types of fruit juice or pre-made mixers. Over time, frequent exposure to highly acidic beverages can wear down teeth and weaken them.

  • It can increase your risk of oral cancer.

Many types of cancer are caused by inflammation, and alcohol is known to cause inflammation throughout the body—especially in areas it comes into direct contact with. Frequent drinkers are more likely to develop cancer of the mouth and throat than people who abstain—especially if they also smoke cigarettes.

You can reduce the risks of alcohol-related oral health problems by either cutting out alcohol completely or reducing your intake. And when you do drink, be sure to have a glass of water in between beverages. Not only can this help you avoid a hangover, but it helps wash away many of the damaging effects of alcohol on your teeth.

Let Us Protect Your Teeth and Gums

Making good decisions is the best way to preserve your oral health, and the best decision you can make is scheduling twice-yearly dental visits. Request a dental appointment today with 101st Adult Dentistry and get peace of mind knowing your teeth and gums are in good hands.