We all have vices and guilty pleasures, but some affect our health more than others. Understanding the implications on your health is the best way to carefully decide if the habit is worth it. The same is true when it comes to the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and even coffee. Using these products every day can cause staining and the possible loss of the teeth, as well as the development of gum disease and even oral cancer. Today we’ll be discussing coffee, alcohol, and smoking effects on teeth and what precautions you can take to protect your smile for years to come.
Smoking and Tobacco Use
If you consistently smoke cigarettes or use tobacco products, you’re probably well aware of how this habit negatively impacts your overall health. Every time you inhale cigarette smoke, the toxins in the tobacco will stain your tooth enamel and cause the teeth to become weaker.
Smoking effects on teeth can eventually lead to gum disease and different types of cancer –– including oral cancer, throat cancer, and lung cancer. In fact, smokers are six-times more likely than nonsmokers to develop mouth or throat cancer.
Chewing tobacco is even worse than smoking for the teeth and gum tissues because the tobacco is allowed to have direct contact with the tissues of the mouth and the tooth enamel. Tobacco use can weaken your body’s immune system, which makes it harder for your body to fight off bacteria in your mouth. This leads to a much greater risk for dental decay and advanced periodontal disease.
Coffee and Alcohol Consumption
While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a morning cup of coffee or a glass of wine with dinner, consuming too many of these beverages can hurt your teeth. Alcohol and coffee beverages are both acidic, which weaken the tooth enamel over time. Both are also notorious for staining teeth, especially coffee and red wine. The more you expose your enamel to these beverages, the worse the damage will be.
Moderation is the name of the game when it comes to enjoying coffee and alcohol. In addition to dealing with tooth discoloration, people who heavily drink alcohol also have an increased risk of periodontal disease, tooth decay, tooth loss, and mouth sores.
Reversing the Harmful Impacts
The best way to treat the harmful side effects of coffee, alcohol, and tobacco is to limit or discontinue the use of these products altogether. Since that’s not always feasible, consider taking extra precautions when it comes to caring for your teeth. Consistently practicing good dental hygiene by brushing and flossing at least twice a day and keeping up with regular visits to your general dentist is the best way to protect your smile.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to use whitening toothpaste that’s specifically designed to remove stains from your tooth enamel. You can also add a whitening mouthwash to your dental hygiene routine that can remove stains from the teeth as well. Finish this treatment plan off with daily flossing and a visit to your general dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and a checkup.
During your regular checkups and cleanings, be sure to tell your dentist if you consistently consume tobacco, coffee, or alcohol. Your dentist will be able to make suggestions on how to quit tobacco use or limit the amount of coffee and alcohol you’re drinking.
Here at Endodontic Specialists of Colorado, we understand that your overall health is closely related to your dental health. Your lifestyle and habits –– good or bad –– can greatly impact your smile. Our team of doctors are here to preserve your natural teeth and relieve your pain. Contact one of our office locations today to learn how we can restore your smile!