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Adults - Lifestyle Risks
Alcohol & Binge Drinking

The main threat to your teeth and gums comes from the sugar content in alcohol (including beer) which, when broken down in your mouth, creates an acidic breeding ground for bacteria and plaque.

There is also a strong clinical link between the excessive consumption of alcohol and head and neck cancers. In fact, while it can increase the risk of getting these diseases if used together with tobacco, alcohol can pose a risk in its own right.

Limiting the Damage

  • Most importantly, after a night out, you should brush and floss your teeth before going to bed. If you often forget to do this, leave your tooth brush on your pillow before you go out to remind you to spend a couple of minutes brushing.
  • While you’re drinking try to swish a mouthful of water around every so often to increase the saliva flow and rinse away sugars and acid in your mouth
  • On your way home, chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva flow and clear the mouth of harmful sugars and acid.
In This Section

Smoking

Can mask the signs of
dental disease

Alcohol

Can cause decay, erosion and oral cancer

Fizzy and Sports Drinks

Both contain acid that can lead to tooth erosion

Oral Piercing

Get the facts and make an informed choice

Drugs

Both legal and illegal drugs can affect your mouth

Oral Sex

Can pass on the oral cancer-causing HPV virus

Resources