Living near Beer City, USA has made craft beer a part of West Michigan’s culture. Exploring new breweries and trying different beers has become a hobby and fun pastime for many. But does our love of beer have any effect on our teeth? And if so, what kind of impact can it have over time?
Let’s Talk Beer
Just understanding the basic composition of beer can give us a clue on what your favorite pint can do to your pearly whites. All beer, from stouts to IPAs, is crafted by brewing a cereal grain that then ferments to become alcohol.
Starch & Your Teeth
Chemically speaking, as the grains being fermented break down, they become a starch. As you drink beer, a hoppy, starchy wave coats your teeth in these sugars. A good gulp of beer allows the sugars to find their way into crevices and spaces between your teeth in spots that may be hard for your toothbrush to reach.
Acidity & Beer
You may have heard eating and drinking acidic foods damages your teeth’s enamel. As reported in an article from Registered Dental Hygienist Magazine, the pH inside of your mouth should be between 6.2 and 7.0. When foods’ pH falls below 5.7, enamel demineralization can occur. Unfortunately, beer makes the list of acidic foods, with an average pH of between 4.0 and 5.5. Over time, as you drink more acidic beverages like beer, your teeth face a more serious threat of enamel loss, which can lead to dental problems like tooth sensitivity and cavities. Because enamel is not a living substance, once it is lost or worn down, your body cannot replenish or repair it. Any enamel issues you have can only be addressed by a dentist.
Dark Brew & Tooth Discoloration
Like other dark drinks such as coffee and cola, dark beers can stain your teeth’s enamel, leading to discoloration. For frequent dark beer drinkers, this discoloration can become more noticeable over time. If possible, drink water while enjoying your beer to help wash the beer off of your teeth. The best option is to brush your teeth soon after finishing your beverage.
When it comes to your dental health, your best beer option is staying with a light beer. With their higher water content and lower carb and calorie count, lighter beers offer a lower acidity and lower starch content. Also, the lighter color of these beers means a less serious threat of enamel stains. But “better” doesn’t make light beers perfect. They still carry the same negative dental effects as other beers.
With this new understanding of the relationship between your teeth and your favorite beer, you now know more about ways to prevent damage to your teeth’s enamel. If you’ve noticed discoloration or erosion of your enamel, think about scheduling an appointment with Mogren Dental. We’re always accepting new patients, and you can make your appointment by calling 231-737-5500 or by scheduling online today!