Alcohol Awareness

Worried woman

How Does Alcohol Really Affect Your Smile?

Alcohol is something that plenty of us enjoy responsibly, whether that is a glass in the evening with colleagues after work, or a cocktail at the weekend during downtime.

However, drinking can be something you may wish to quit for a month for your own personal reasons or perhaps to support a charity.

Common reasons people take part in Dry January are:

  • Wishing to feel healthier in general
  • Looking to let the body recover from a December full of parties
  • Looking to challenge yourself if you are a regular drinker
  • Wanting to join in on a challenge with friends
  • Hoping to drop some weight
  • Looking to save a bit of cash
  • Looking to avoid common problems with regular drinking such as hangovers

Everyone is different and everybody has their own reason for participating in Dry January. It can take a lot of willpower though, so your Kent Smile dentists want to help by giving you even more reason to stick on your path of sobriety at the start of this year with the following handy health information.

Alcohol And How It Can Affect Your Body

Within government guidelines, drinking alcohol can be part of a healthy and balanced diet. However, drinking too much can have some pretty nasty effects on the body so it is important to be aware of that so you can stay on the healthy side of alcohol consumption.

Here are some common issues with alcohol and how it affects the body:

Sleeping Problems

Drinking alcohol can help you to quickly get to sleep, but that isn’t necessarily a good thing and it certainly doesn’t mean you will get a good nights sleep. As alcohol is a diuretic, it might make you need to go to the toilet throughout the night. You may also stay in REM (Rapid Eye Movement) more than the more restful deep sleep stage that actually helps you feel well rested. If you are already a snorer, you may find that drinking makes the issue worse, as the muscles that cause snoring may relax more and cause you to to snore worse than you usually do.

Obesity & Diabetes

Diabetes can be a result of excessive drinking because of the sugar content associated with alcoholic drinks. Those drinking regularly can also become obese as a result, which comes with its own set of health problems and issues.

Tummy Ache

You may get tummy ache from regular drinking because alcohol can create more stomach acid and so, causes tummy pain. You might get bleeding of the stomach if you drink excessively over a prolonged period of time. Even worse, drinking is known to contribute towards your risk of colon and stomach cancer.

Life-Altering Diseases

Alcohol is connected to a wide range of diseases and problems that can be life-altering, such as pancreatitis, liver disease, heart disease and many different types of cancer.

These are just a few of the ways alcohol in excess can affect your body.

Alcohol And Your Smile

By quitting drinking you’ve moved yourself further away from all those scary risks we mentioned above and, perhaps your drinking will be cut down enough in future to minimise any risks long-term.

With so many wonderful side-effects to quitting drinking being present, such as a lack of hangovers, extra cash in the bank and better health all-round, you may not have thought about your health aside from the fact that by quitting alcohol for a whole month you have plenty to smile about. Your smile though, is an additional factor when it comes to quitting the booze as your oral health can very much be affected by drinking regularly. Here at your dentist in Chatham and Maidstone, we know that alcohol can be a real problem when it comes to maintaining healthy teeth and gums.

Alcohol can affect your oral health by:

  • Eroding the teeth
  • Causing tooth decay, because of the sugar in the alcohol
  • Contributing to your risk of oral cancer
  • Causing you to be at a higher risk of dental injury as drinking is known to make a person more likely to get into physical conflict
  • Potentially affecting your oral health regime day to day if you drink regularly

Kent Smile Studio Tips On Having A Successful Dry January

Abstaining from alcohol is an amazing feat if you do enjoy a glass or two of an evening or at the weekend; so if you are still not drinking, well done from all of us here at Kent Smile Studio. To help you maintain your success, we have some really easy tips to help you stay on track to meet your sobriety goals this January:

  • Keep a tally of how much you’re saving and put that money aside for a (non-alcoholic) treat at the end of the month. A treatment like teeth whitening at our local dental clinic could be a really great option, to boost the smile you’ll have from spending a whole month smashing your 2019 goal!
  • Keep a Dry January journal to write down the good things that have come from you not drinking.
  • Keep your strongest reasons for quitting where you can see them. Perhaps on a big sheet of paper stuck to the fridge, or on the bathroom mirror.
  • Make new plans for beyond January for things you enjoy that do not involve drinking, like dance classes or, days out with friends.
  • Do reach out to your GP if you think you may have a bigger issue with alcohol than you previously thought. Drink Aware has lots of useful information to read to get your started.

Keep Your Smile Beautiful And Healthy All Year Round With Kent Smile Studio!

Please call our friendly team on 01634683123 or 01622754662 to book an appointment at a time to suit you.

Attending regular checkups with your dentist in January, and throughout the year ensures that any adverse effects from alcohol on the teeth and gums are diagnosed and kept on top of. We can also check for signs of oral cancer so if there are symptoms present, they are checked out quickly. And please remember, we are not here to judge, we are here to help you have the happiest, healthiest smile throughout 2019 and beyond!