The products of the alcohol industry are among the beverages that are harmful to teeth and cause tooth decay. Currently, tooth decay is the most common noncommunicable disease (NCDs) worldwide.
According to Dr. Apoena de Aguiar Ribeiro, a paediatric dentist and microbiologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the composition and quality of any food or beverage determines if it is harmful to teeth or not.
There are both helpful and harmful bacteria living inside the mouth. The harmful bacteria break down sugars from food and drinks, including alcoholic products, and turn them into acid. This acid can in turn pull essential minerals from people’s teeth and lead to cavities.
Sugary drinks as well as sticky foods and drinks are both bad for teeth. This is because harmful bacteria thrive in these types of foods and beverages.
High sugar content in alcohol products
As Movendi International has previously reported, certain types of alcohol products contain high amounts of sugar. Wine is one such product. Just two medium-sized glasses of wine contain the maximum recommended daily sugar intake.
Ready-to-Drink or RTD products are another type of alcohol that contains high sugar. RTDs are just alcopops that are now marketed in different ways since initial concern about these products that taste like candy but are high in alcohol content lead to an increase in taxes to protect children and youth. These products are often fruity and sweet and packaged to be very attractive to young people. The high sugar content in these products makes them bad for teeth.
Acidic alcohol products harm teeth
Seltzer is one category of RTDs marketed as “healthier” by the alcohol industry due to lower calories and sugar. However, carbonated beverages such as seltzers are also bad for teeth since they are acidic.
Saliva is one of the most protective factors for teeth. It re-mineralizes and strengthens tooth enamel, and contains bicarbonate, which helps to neutralize the acidity in the mouth. However, any time a person eats or drinks it takes 20 to 30 minutes for saliva to build up to protective levels.
Inhibiting regular salivation of the mouth and teeth is another way alcohol harms teeth. Since alcohol is often sipped and in itself bad for teeth, too.
Scientific research published in The Lancet has previously identified alcohol as one of the major risk factors for oral decay. In 2020, the Australian Dental Association warned that oral cancers, tooth decay, and gum disease can increase due to the reported increased alcohol consumption during COVID-19.
Not consuming alcohol, or reducing alcohol use is a good way to improve dental health and prevent tooth decay, according to experts.