Alcoholic drinks and teeth are generally considered deadly nemesis.
This is particularly so during the holiday season when beer flows freely. However, with just a little bit of extra care, there is no reason why you should not enjoy yourself with that mug of the frothy stuff. Just don’t allow all the merrymaking to negatively affect the health of your teeth in the long-run.
Here are several reasons why beer can be bad for your teeth.
Like most beverages, beer leads to tooth discoloration which can make them appear yellowish or have brownish tints. These unsightly beer-related stains tend to worsen or increase over time, particularly if you are a regular beer drinker.
Sadly, these can even make beer enthusiasts who are still in their 20s to look much older. Darker beers, like porters and stouts, can cause serious tooth discoloration because they are made with fruit such as blackberries and cherries.
Generally, beer is not sweet, but it happens to be packed with sugars, which can have damaging effects on your teeth. The sugar in your beer tends to stick to the teeth and then it gets mixed the natural bacteria in your mouth. The mixture forms a substance known as plaque on the teeth. The tartar can prevent you from effectively brushing and cleaning your teeth and gums.
Acids in Beer
Through demineralization, tooth enamel gets worn away by the acids found in beers and other soft drinks. These make your teeth susceptible to erosion and decay. We know that enamel, once eaten away, cannot be restored. Any drink with a pH of around 5.5 has enough acids to start the process of demineralization. Some, like craft beers, have a pH that ranges between 5.4 and 5.8.
It’s Not All Bad News
While there lots of data and evidence on how beer is bad for your teeth, there is also some evidence suggesting that beer could actually be good for your teeth. In fact from polishing and strengthening your teeth to preventing periodontal disease, drinking beer comes with several oral health benefits.
This may be hard for some to believe, but because beer contains lots of calcium and silicon, it fortifies your teeth, and of course your nails and hair. While you shouldn’t rely on beer as the main source of calcium, it’s certainly good to know that your favorite drink is helping your teeth to last longer and stay stronger.
Wipes Out Biofilm
Beer wipes away biofilm, the slimy coating that collects on your teeth between brushing. It forms when bad bacteria accumulate on the teeth surface creating a slimy or watery environment. Biofilm appears yellowish and causes disease, sometimes leading to periodontal disease or gingivitis.
Like just what you eat affects your health, what you drink also impacts your health, including dental health. However, just because beer affects the health of your teeth, it doesn’t mean it must be given up for good. Like with everything in life, the answer lies in moderation.
Luckily for beer lovers, there are many ways of combating its effects on your teeth. If sensible amounts of beer are consumed and you also take good oral and dental care like brushing and routine trips to the dentist, you have nothing to be seriously worried about.
Author: Peter Mayhew
Peter is a dental hygienist in the city of Chicago, IL. In his free time he likes to write blogs and product reviews on anything dental health related.