The holiday season is approaching, and people will have the opportunity to spend time with family and friends. There will be celebrations with a bounty of food and drinks, including alcoholic beverages. As champagne, wine, beer, and mixed drinks flow, spirits will be up, but your oral health may decline.

Alcohol and Oral Health

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Alcohol and teeth do not mix well. Here are just a few reasons why:

  • Sugar content – Sugar is a big factor in tooth decay. The bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar, and alcoholic drinks have plenty of it. Dry brut champagne has the lowest sugar content among alcoholic drinks, at .5 grams of sugar per 5-ounce serving. Doux champagne, with the highest sugar content, contains 8 to 10 grams of sugar per 5-ounce serving. A typical dry white wine has about 3 grams of sugar per 5-ounce serving. Other types of wines, such as sweet red wine, contain as many as 8 grams of sugar for every 5-ounce serving.
  • Staining – Alcoholic beverages, especially heavily-colored dark wine, can cause long-lasting staining or discoloration of the teeth. Stained teeth could make you self-conscious of your smile. If you are experiencing tooth discoloration due to drinking or other factors, visit your dentist in Utah. He or she may be able to provide a teeth whitening treatment to get your pearly whites looking pristine again.
  • Dehydration – Alcohol can cause dehydration. After consuming alcoholic drinks, a person’s saliva production will significantly decrease. Saliva tends to wash away bacteria in the mouth, but when it is depleted, the bacteria will thrive and cause damage to the gums and teeth.

If you enjoy drinking during the holidays, make sure to do so in moderation, and always brush afterward. Visit your family dentist in Utah regularly to check for any dental problems.