Each year, many of us partake in Dry January, whether it be to raise money for charity, shake off some December calories, re-rest our health for the year ahead or simply to see if we’re capable. But have you ever considered taking your Dry January efforts beyond January and into the whole year ahead? We take a look at some of the ways in which alcohol affects your oral health and why reducing or cutting out alcohol consumption can work wonders.
Increased risk of mouth cancer
It’s easy to exceed the government guidelines on alcohol consumption without even noticing. But doing so often can put you at risk of serious health issues, such as mouth cancer. Whilst mouth cancer and smoking might sound like more of a synonymous pairing, alcohol has a direct link to causing mouth cancer. A study carried out in 2010 found that people who drank more than four or more drinks each day were five times more at risk of mouth cancers compared to people who never drank or drank within the government guidelines. With the proof being in the pudding, putting real effort into cutting down after Dry January is worth it simply for this reason.
Tooth decay and erosion
Alcohol is full of sugar, something we’ve known for a long time. Sugar attacks tooth enamel, the protective coating on our teeth and once this has been worn down, it can’t be replaced. Remember, teeth are the only part of the body that won’t repair, so caring for them is so incredibly important. Alcohol also dehydrates the body, which means saliva stimulation is reduced. A dry mouth means less neutralising of acids and more chance of developing tooth decay. This can be made better by consuming water anytime you’re drinking alcohol, but if you’re drinking in larger quantities, this won’t make a huge amount of difference.
Discoloured teeth can leave you feeling reluctant to smile, lacking in confidence and just generally a bit down. You guessed it, alcohol is one of the major contributors to discoloured teeth – think red and white wine, prosecco and mixers in particular. Reducing your alcohol intake after January could help you restore confidence in your smile and improve your general wellbeing.
If you would like to book yourself in for a consultation for a particular treatment or simply for a routine check-up, please get in touch with us at your convenience. Merry Christmas!