According to current statistics, alcohol use disorders affect more than 17 million adults in the United States. In addition to causing irreparable social and medical problems, alcohol use disorders can severely impact your dental health. Dentists commonly report that patients with alcohol abuse problems tend to suffer from a number of similar signs and symptoms. If you or a loved one is currently challenged by an alcohol abuse problem or has dealt with the issue in the past, ask a Boerne dentist to check for these 5 dental problems:
- Tooth decay- alcohol is known to cause dry mouth and reduce the flow of saliva, leaving you at a higher risk for cavities.
- Tooth erosion- the acidity of certain alcoholic beverages such as wine can chemically erode the outer surface of the enamel. Alcohol is also known to cause acid reflux and vomiting, two conditions that cause erosive stomach acids to enter the mouth.
- Moderate to severe gingivitis (gum disease) – Alcoholism compromises the immune system and leaves the body unable to fight inflammatory conditions like gum disease.
- Gum irregularities- puffy and inflamed gums can often be the result of poor general health.
- Poor dental hygiene- As alcohol abuse becomes more advanced, the level of personal hygiene and self-care can diminish significantly.
Be Proactive about Your Oral Health
Alcoholism is a disease that negatively impacts your general health while also damaging your teeth, gums, and soft oral tissues. It’s important that you inform a dental professional about all of your health conditions (including drug or alcohol abuse disorders) and any medications that you may be taking, as these factors could affect your oral health. Remember that maintaining a healthy body also includes taking care of your oral health. Talk to a Boerne dentist about your alcohol consumption today for more information.