Australian dentist highlights the dental damage caused by drinking alcohol

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Most people are aware that drinking can result in headaches and nausea, but have you ever thought about how alcohol affects your smile?

Australian dentist, Dr Lewis Ehrlich, recently uploaded a photograph to his Facebook page to highlight the dangers of frequent or binge drinking. Many people are aware that eating sweets and drinking pop are bad for your teeth, but it’s much less common for people to be concerned about the effects of alcohol on dental health.

Dr Ehrlich’s post showcased dental erosion, which occurs when the protective enamel surface becomes weak. Holes start to develop, increasing the risk of infection, decay and sensitivity. The holistic dentist’s post showed the difference between drinking water and drinking gin and tonic, using two images. The first showed an intact tooth surface, and the second showed the enamel full of cavities. Gin and tonic is acidic with a pH of just 2.2, making it dangerous for your teeth.

To reduce the risk of enamel erosion, Dr Ehrlich recommends using a biodegradable straw, drinking only at mealtimes and waiting at least 30 minutes to brush the teeth after eating or drinking. It’s also beneficial to alternate alcoholic drinks with water to neutralise acids in the mouth. Dentists also advised against mixing measures of spirits with juices and fizzy drinks.

Examples of other acidic alcoholic drinks include wine, which has a pH value of 2.3-3.8, and beer, which has a pH reading of 4.0-5.0.

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