The luck of Irish tends to be with everyone during St. Patrick’s Day, whether or not there’s an ounce of Irish in them. Besides wearing a lot of green, one of the most common ways to celebrate this holiday is by drinking a lot of beer. At our dental office in Madison, we hope that our patients enjoy the festivities responsibly, but also want them to be aware of some of the oral health dangers of drinking too much alcohol.
There are plenty of things that can cause your normally bright, white teeth to take on a dull or discolored appearance. Drinking beer excessively happens to be one of them. Too much beer over time can transform your teeth into looking yellow or even slightly brown. While darker beers put you at greater risk, all beer can lead to discoloration…especially the green stuff so many people enjoy during St. Patrick’s Day. The dye used to give the beer its festive appearance can also dye your teeth pretty quickly. But don’t worry, this greenish tint can usually be removed by using a slightly more abrasive tooth whitening toothpaste or by seeing your Madison dentist for a cleaning or professional smile whitening.
Your teeth are protected by one of the strongest materials in your body — your tooth enamel. But this enamel can be damaged by acid, despite its strength. Beer contains a lot of acid, and when its consumed in large amounts, your teeth are basically bathing in it. This can cause your enamel to erode. Without the enamel, your teeth are at risk for decay, increased sensitivity, and even discoloration. As the enamel wears away, your teeth become more translucent and the inner part of the tooth, which is actually dark in color, becomes visible. Teeth can then appear dull or gray.
Enjoying alcoholic beverages in moderation greatly reduces your risk of any alcohol related oral health problems. But besides choosing to limit your alcohol intake, there are other ways you can further protect your smile including:
Whether you’re due for a dental checkup or are looking for help in minimizing your St. Patty’s Day green smile, we’re always happy to see new patients and welcome you to our Madison dental office. Call to schedule an appointment with us today!