Drinking beer damages the entire human body, and teeth are no exception. However, many people simply don’t know how alcohol affects their teeth, and they have no idea how much alcohol damages them.
Those who drink moderate amounts of beer do not suffer much from oral health. But those who “abuse” it, destroy tooth enamel, and more often develop cavities and gum disease.
In the United States, it is believed that a man abuses beer if he drinks more than two cans (350 ml) daily, while a woman drinks more than a can. From the WHO point of view, it is considered safe to consume two cans of beer for men and one can for women, but no more than four times a week.
Could Beer Be Good For Your Teeth?
Of all kinds of alcoholic beverages beer is considered the least harmful to the teeth.
- First of all, it is not as sour as, for example, wine. Therefore, to a lesser extent “eats” the enamel of the teeth.
- Secondly, beer has hops that have antibacterial properties. It is believed that it can inhibit the growth of harmful germs in the mouth.
- Third, beer contains calcium, so to some extent, it helps strengthen bones and teeth.
But the benefits of beer are devalued if you drink it in large quantities. Here are what negative effects it can lead to:
How Does Beer Affect Your Teeth?
- Tooth erosion. Beer is essentially a weak acid. If you drink a lot of it, it creates an acidic environment in your mouth. As a result, minerals are washed out of the enamel and depressions appear on its surface – these are erosions. Teeth with erosions become more sensitive and suffer from cavities more often. The more acidic the beer, the greater the risk of erosions. The highest level of acidity (pH around 4) is in dark varieties, less (pH around 5) in light ones.
- Dry mouth. Excessive consumption of beer leads to dehydration of the body. This reduces the production of saliva. And it saturates the enamel of teeth with minerals, inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria, and neutralizes the acidic environment in the mouth. So when it’s in short supply, patients have an increased risk of tooth decay and gum inflammation.
- Does beer cause cavities? Thinning of enamel, dry mouth, and sugars, which are present in small quantities but are present in beer, contribute to the more frequent development of tooth decay. Cariogenic bacteria feed on sugars. They convert them into acids that literally burn holes in the teeth. Beer snacks containing large amounts of carbohydrates – such as chips or crisps – are additional contributors to tooth decay.
- Staining of teeth. Dark beer contains pigments – chromogens. They adhere to the enamel, staining it yellow.
- Chipped teeth. This a typical problem of those who open cans of beer with their teeth.
- Oral cancer. According to studies, people who drink develop oral cancer are 6 times more likely to develop oral cancer than non-drinkers. This is because alcohol makes it easier for carcinogens to penetrate the mucosa. The risk of cancer increases if a person also smokes.
Does beer stain teeth?
Beer can affect the color of your teeth-especially dark beers with burnt or black malt, and beers with colorful fruit or berries. And avoid beers with dyes – for St. Patrick’s Day, many breweries release green beers that make your teeth green, too – which is not an easy plaque to brush off. If you whiten your teeth, you should refrain from acidic and colorful beers for 24-48 hours after whitening.
To reduce oral health risks, dentists recommend
- Drink beer during or immediately after meals, not between meals.
- Drinking beer through a straw (this will reduce its contact with the teeth).
- Drinking faster (to reduce the amount of time your mouth is exposed to the drink).
- Take good care of your teeth (brush them twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste).
- Visit your dentist regularly to check for changes in your mouth.
Beer can be bad for your teeth if consumed in excess, as it contains sugar and alcohol that can cause tooth decay and enamel erosion. Moderation is key when drinking beer or other alcoholic beverages, and regular dental check-ups are recommended to maintain good oral health. Proper dental hygiene habits should also be practiced to reduce the risk of cavities and discoloration.