There is certainly no lack of breweries in West Michigan. They’re everywhere, and beer is a huge part of the culture here. It’s an important question for those of us living in and around Beer City, USA: Can beer affect your teeth? The short answer is yes, it can. Here’s how:
Alcohol = Sugar
Beer isn’t generally sweet, but it is packed with sugars, and those sugars can be damaging to your teeth. Sugar sticks to your teeth and is then consumed by the natural bacteria found in your mouth. These bacteria then secrete acids as a byproduct, which eats away the enamel on your teeth, making them susceptible to decay. Enamel, once gone, can never be restored.
Dark Beers Can Stain
Just like coffee, wine, tea, or any other dark-colored beverage, dark beers can leave stain-causing substances on your teeth.
Carbonation is Acidic
Beer is carbonated, which makes it very acidic and harmful to teeth. Carbon dioxide, which causes carbonation, can quickly turn to carbonic acid in the mouth. The acid, in turn, can wear away at the enamel of your teeth. If you’re really enjoying the flavor of your beer and hold it in your mouth or swish it around, that acid could cause even more damage.
Alcohol Can Cause Dehydration
Drinking in excess can dehydrate the body. For the mouth, this means decreased saliva production, which washes away bacteria, food/drink particles, and sugars. When these substances cling to the teeth, you are at greater risk of tooth decay.
Luckily for craft beer enthusiasts and PBR fans alike, there are ways to combat the effects of beer on your teeth. Good dental hygiene habits (i.e., brushing and flossing), regular dental checkups, and alternating your beer with a glass of water, can protect your teeth from negative effects of beer, and any other dark, sugary, or acidic beverages you enjoy.
Is it time you visited a dentist? Call our offices to schedule your checkup today.