Humans have had a love affair with alcohol since ancient times. Regardless of it is beer, wine or spirits, all booze is a psychoactive drug that is legally consumed in more than 100 countries. Liquor is highly popular for a myriad of reason including religion, medicinal and of course, pure pleasure. No matter why the elixir is consumed, individuals need to ensure that imbibing is backed by good oral hygiene, or a multitude of dental problems may ensue.
Ogden Nash said, "Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker." In relation to dental problems, a truer statement has never been made. When consumed in moderation, there are health benefits associated with drinking. The Mayo Clinic reports that moderate alcohol consumption can reduce the odds of developing heart disease including heart attack, may potentially minimize the risks of stroke, lower the changes of getting gallstones and potential lower the risk of developing diabetes. However, too much liquor can quickly destroy oral health and general well being as individuals who consume too much liquor are at a higher risk for a myriad of dental woes. Excessive alcohol consumption may cause tooth erosion, dry mouth and up the odds of getting throat or mouth cancer.
Unlike tooth decay caused by dental plaque bacteria, tooth erosion is "...a direct attack by the chemicals found in acidic foods and drinks," including liquor (1-800-DENTIST). Dental erosion results from of continuously low pH levels in the mouth and alcohol is a major contributor to the imbalance. In itself, tooth erosion of tooth enamel is not life threatening, but it can increase discomfort due to tooth sensitivity, tooth discoloration, and cupping (when small indentations appear on teeth).