Alcohol’s Effect on Oral Health

alcohol and oral healthA glass of wine at family dinner. A few beers at the bar while catching up with old friends. A mixed drink or two at the office holiday party. When it comes to alcohol, it’s a fairly standard beverage of choice for U.S. adults. While enjoying it in moderation is reasonable, problems with both overall health and oral health arise when we drink too much.

What’s so Bad About it?

About 25% of all U.S. adults 18 and older have had at least one night of excessive drinking this past year. Besides being potentially dangerous to your overall well being, over-consumption of alcohol can have detrimental affects on your oral health as well. Alcohol is naturally drying, which is a problem when talking about oral health. Your mouth is supposed to be moist and needs saliva to function properly. Without it, dangerous bacteria, sugars, and acids aren’t effectively rinsed away, leaving your teeth exposed to damage.

Know the Risks

At our dental office in Austin, part of our job is to educate and inform our patients as much as possible. And while we aren’t here to tell you to completely refrain from drinking alcohol, we do want to let you know the risks involved when drinking in excess. Some oral health problems that may arise from over-consumption of alcohol include:

  • Tooth Decay
  • Gum Disease
  • Chronic Bad Breath
  • Oral, Throat, and Esophagus Cancer

Protect Your Health

  • Limit Your Drinks. The best way to protect your smile from the damaging effects of alcohol is to limit the amount you drink. It’s also a good rule of thumb to rotate in a glass of water in between alcoholic beverages.
  • Consult a Counselor. If you suspect you have an alcohol problem, we encourage you to find a trusted professional to help.
  • Brush 20 Minutes Post-Drink. Waiting 20 minutes after drinking an alcoholic beverage to brush can reduce the negative effects of the alcohol.
  • Regular Checkups. Visiting your dentist in Austin at least twice a year is crucial to maintaining great oral health. These visits help catch any problems early, and the earlier a problem is caught, the easier and more effective treatment can be.

If it’s been awhile since you’ve seen a dentist, we welcome you to call our Austin dental office. We’re here to keep your mouth, and your body, in the best shape possible.

Welcoming patients from Austin, Westlake, and Cedar Park.

Pay It Forward

Thanksgiving is here!  As the holiday season fast approaches, our office wishes to express our gratitude for the gift of friendship, confidence and trust you have shown us.  It has been a year filled with many reasons for us to be thankful!

We appreciate our many blessings and the opportunity to pay it forward.  As many of you know, one of our neighboring communities, Bastrop and Smithville, were hit by disaster when the people there lost their homes, land and much more to the recent wild fires.  For some, this was the second time this area was struck by fire.

photo kindness

Each year,  here at 12 Oaks we enjoy ways to give back to our community through various projects. We have reached out to sponsor a family in Smithville for a Thanksgiving dinner~so that they may enjoy a special time together with all their loved ones. If you would like to find out ways to get involved click on the this link for Bastrop disaster relief.

We hope you will remember those a little less fortunate when you gather with your family around your table this year and if given the opportunity….pay if forward!


Holidays Have You Stressed? Relax for Your Mouth’s Sake

holiday stressThe craziness of the holiday season is right around the corner, and we’re sure the planning has already begun. Sometimes this time of year causes stress levels to rise and health to suffer because of it. But it’s not only your overall health that’s affected by stress. The team at our dental office in Austin want to inform you about how stress can also cause problems in your mouth.

Jaw Pain

Your jaw joint, also known as the TMJ (temporomandibular joint), gets a lot of work throughout the day even when you’re not stressed. It can withstand a lot. But when you’re in stress overload, you may begin to clench or grind your teeth. Both clenching and grinding may lead to tooth damage and can also cause some serious jaw pain. If you’re experiencing any pain, clicking, locking, or popping, give your Austin dentist a call.

Canker Sores

Usually caused by an accidental chomp of the cheek or other actual trauma, canker sores can also be triggered by stress. According to a study by the Academy of General Dentistry, people are more susceptible to canker sores during prolonged periods of stress. Canker sores, also known as mouth ulcers, are typically found inside the mouth and are not contagious, but can be painful and annoying.

Chill Out!

The best way to protect your smile and overall health from the dangers of stress is to work on calming down and keeping anxiety levels low. Need some pointers? Check out these tips.

  • Eat Well. We know it’s hard to pass on the constant snacking that typically comes with the holidays, but try your best to keep a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Work on Your Fitness. Get active by taking a daily walk, do some yoga, or hop on a treadmill. Whatever your exercise of choice, get your blood pumping and your sweat dripping.
  • Limit Alcohol. Between office parties, dinners out, get togethers with friends and family, alcohol is typically available in abundance. Try your best to limit your alcohol consumption not only for your oral health, but overall health too.

As always, take time to ensure you’re keeping a healthy at-home oral hygiene routine. And if you feel the stress of the holidays is affecting your mouth, don’t hesitate to call our Austin dental office. We’ll be happy to work with you to resolve any problems we may find. We’re also pretty great at keeping you relaxed, which may be just what you need.
Accepting patients from Austin, Westlake, and Cedar Park.

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