Many adults divulge and drink one or several beers when out on the town with their friends, and yet few consider the oral consequences that may arise from drinking alcohol in excess. Stained teeth and deteriorating tooth enamel are consequences that individuals who are frequent beer consumers face at some point. Drinking an occasional beer will not cause immediate oral health problems, but consuming them in excess can lead to issues after a period of time. While there are some bad side effects that are caused by beer drinking, there are some positives to consider as well before popping open a cold bottle.
Teeth are not tools and using them as such can cause serious damage and even tooth loss. Attempting to open a bottle of beer with one’s teeth can result in the tooth chips and breakage. The metal lid used to seal cans is attached very tightly with a tough material and is not designed to be open by anything other than a bottle opener. Plus, the metal can infect the gums or scratch the surface. Teeth are breakable and must be maintained which includes using them only for their intended purpose of chewing food.
Beers, dark beers in particular, are known to yellow teeth and lose their luster after numerous drinks. Dark beers can contain barley, malt and even aged fruit juices. The dark coloring of the beer attaches itself to the teeth and creates long-lasting stains that are difficult to remove without using a cosmetic whitening treatment. Avid drinkers have a difficult time eliminating these stains. Even if brushing and rinsing occurs after every drink staining can occur. Whitening treatments will help to brighten the smile, but beer must be avoided for a couple days after treatment or else the staining will reappear.
Some beers have a high pH levels, which can cause damaging effects to tooth enamel. The saliva in the mouth is a very specific pH which is used to coat and protect teeth, and when that pH level is altered, it leaves the teeth open to deterioration. The highly acidic quality of beer can eat past the layers of enamel on the teeth, causing tooth decay. Those who drink too many beers and become nauseated and throw are even more at risk for tooth decay as the acid will be a prevalent in the vomit and coat the teeth.
Hops, a plant that is one of the main ingredients of beer, can actually create beneficial effects for oral health. Hops are packed full of calcium, which is necessary in maintaining the strength and sturdiness of teeth. Calcium is used to keep bones in their top shape and is needed to maintain the integrity of the jaw and keep the teeth in place. While consuming milk will give drinkers a higher level of calcium, drinking a beer with a lot of hops can help to create stronger rows of teeth