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Effects of Alcohol | Fort Lauderdale, FL | Dr. Patty Dental

The Effects of Alcohol

How Can alcoholic drinks affect your teeth and gums?

If you’re like many out there, you don’t mind indulging in the occasional alcoholic beverage now and again. Some people do drink a bit more regularly than others, while some only drink during special events. Regardless, having a drink, whether always, sometimes, or barely, isn’t that unusual.

Additionally, many of us already know that drinking can have negative effects, which range from impairment of sight and mind, to more serious issues like liver disease. However, what you may not know is the way alcohol affects your teeth, as well as your gums.

Plaque and Stains

If you had several drinks a week on a regular basis, you’d be more likely to have plaque and stained teeth. Staining of the teeth comes from the colors found in certain alcoholic drinks, so if you want to maintain a white smile, the clearer the drink, the better. Also, some alcoholic drinks also contain plenty of sugar, and similar to soda, too much of this does the mouth bad. Sugar sticks to your teeth easily, allowing for bacteria to flourish, which can result in tooth decay.

As for plaque, it builds up in the mouth because alcohol causes the mouth to dry up. It might be surprising to know, but the higher alcohol level in your drink, the more likely it is to keep your mouth dry. On top of that, it’ll contribute to dehydration, which on its own is bad, so it’s always recommended you sip on water in-between alcoholic drinks. Both water and natural saliva flow allows the bacteria to be washed away from the mouth, which helps combat any possible plaque or staining your teeth might face.

Periodontal Disease

Continuing on from plaque, we come to an even greater danger: periodontal disease, better known as gum disease. We’ve mentioned how a dry mouth can invite bacteria to dwell in the mouth, leading to plaque buildup, followed by gum disease. A study shows that those who drink alcohol regularly were found to exhibit greater symptoms of periodontitis. Those who didn’t already have any form of periodontitis still showed a presence of plaque.


If you want to keep your teeth and gums safer, while still enjoying some alcoholic beverages, you can start by making sure your drinks are of a clearer complexion. For beer drinkers, this means drinking light beer that are light colored, or at least light on acidity. Dry liquors, as it turns out, are also better for keeping your teeth stain and bacteria free. Some of these drinks include brut champagne and white wine, both known for being “dry” drinks with low sugar.

Make sure your teeth are taken care of by visiting Dr. Patty’s Dental Boutique and Spa. The best in South Florida cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Patty’s features a professional staff with the highest quality care and tools for the ideal smile. Call us at 954-914-7407 to schedule your complimentary consultation today.