If you are a heavy drinker, you probably do not realize that this habit can have devastating effects on your oral health. Occasional drinking will not be harmful for your mouth and teeth, but drinking excessively can lead to the following types of oral health issues.
Dry mouth, also called xerostomia, is a condition that is caused by a lack of saliva in the mouth. When you have dry mouth, your mouth will feel dry all the time, and this occurs when the saliva glands fail to produce enough saliva to keep your mouth hydrated. Dry mouth can occur for a number of reasons, but drinking alcohol in excessive amounts is one thing that can lead to this issue.
While dry mouth can be an uncomfortable condition to have, it can also lead to many problems, including bad breath. Dry mouth can also lead to speech problems, simply because your mouth needs moisture in order to speak properly. You may also have trouble swallowing food, and your throat might even hurt simply from being too dry.
Drinking a lot of alcohol has this effect for several reasons. The first reason is because alcohol actually dehydrates the body. When you drink alcohol, it triggers your body to urinate more frequently. When you drink a lot and urinate a lot, your body can become dehydrated, and dehydration can stop your salivary glands from working properly.
Because alcohol can lead to dry mouth, drinking too much can end up leaving your mouth full of cavities. The saliva that is produced in your mouth is not only useful for helping you speak and eat, but it is also there to clean your teeth. When you eat, the saliva your mouth produces will wash off the bacteria from your teeth. If your mouth does not have enough saliva, this process cannot happen properly, and you are likely to begin experiencing decay in your mouth.
One of the other reasons you might be at a higher risk for developing cavities is from the lack of good oral care habits you may have when you drink. People who drink excessively often tend to neglect taking proper care of their teeth. This means they may stop brushing and flossing regularly, and they may forget to visit their dentist as often as they should. If you have been neglecting your oral health at all because of your alcohol habit, your mouth may already have some issues that need to be addressed right away.
Finally, you should realize that your alcohol habit might actually cause you to be at a higher risk of developing gum disease. Studies show that people who drink a lot are at a higher risk for this disease, and there are several reasons for this. Some of the reasons include those mentioned already, but gum disease could also be the result of the way alcohol affects the gums when it comes in contact with them. In addition, drinking a lot of alcohol can weaken certain organs in the body, such as the liver, and this can lead to problems with your body's immune system.
If you currently drink a lot of alcohol, you may want to consider slowing down on your alcoholic beverages, and you may also want to consider visiting a dentist. By visiting a dentist soon, you can address any issues that you might currently have. In addition, your dentist might be able to help you change your habits so that you can begin caring properly for your teeth and oral health. To learn more, contact a local dentist today.