Woodbridge, VA

Oral Health and the Risk of Alzheimer’s


Maintaining good oral hygiene is a practice ingrained in our daily routines, from brushing and flossing to regular dental check-ups with your dentist in Woodbridge. But did you know that your oral health can affect more than just your smile? Recent research has uncovered a surprising link between oral health and the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, shedding light on the importance of taking care of your teeth and gums for more than just cosmetic reasons

Connection Between the Mouth and the Brain

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder characterized by memory loss, cognitive decline, and behavioral changes. While the exact cause of Alzheimer’s remains unknown, researchers have identified several risk factors, including genetics, age, and lifestyle. But that’s not all. In recent years, a growing body of evidence suggests that poor oral health might also play a role in increasing the risk of Alzheimer’s.

The link between oral health and Alzheimer’s risk is rooted in the interesting connection between the mouth and brain. The mouth naturally contains a diverse community of bacteria, some of which can cause gum disease if not properly managed. This is where the problem starts. Inflammation caused by gum disease can lead to the release of harmful substances into the bloodstream, allowing them to travel throughout the body. These substances can potentially reach the brain and contribute to the formation of something called amyloid plaques, which is a distinctive feature of Alzheimer’s disease. These plaques disrupt communication between brain cells and contribute to the cognitive decline seen in Alzheimer’s patients.

The Role of Inflammation

Inflammation is a common immune response that helps the body fight off infections and heal injuries. However, chronic inflammation, often triggered by infections or other factors like poor oral hygiene, can have detrimental effects on overall health. In the context of Alzheimer’s disease, researchers believe that chronic inflammation resulting from untreated gum disease might contribute to the progression of Alzheimer’s.

Preventive Measures for Reducing Risk

While more research is needed to fully understand the intricate relationship between oral health and Alzheimer’s risk, taking proactive measures to maintain good oral hygiene can potentially have a positive impact on overall brain health. Here are some practical steps you can take:

Brush and Floss: Brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing daily can help remove plaque and dangerous bacteria. 

See Your Dentist: Routine checkups with your dentist in Woodbridge are essential for preventing and detecting oral health issues early on. Your dentist can identify signs of gum disease and provide appropriate treatments to prevent its progression.

Eat Healthy: A balanced diet not only supports overall health but also contributes to strong teeth and gums. Avoid excessive sugar intake and opt for a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.

Drink Water: Drinking water helps maintain saliva production, which plays a crucial role in protecting your teeth and gums from bacteria. Saliva helps neutralize acids, cleanse the mouth, and remineralize teeth.

Quit Smoking: Smoking is a known risk factor for gum disease. Quitting smoking not only benefits your oral health but also has positive effects on your overall well-being.

Manage Chronic Conditions: Conditions like diabetes and heart disease are linked to both oral health issues and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s. Managing these conditions can indirectly contribute to better oral health.

While the connection between oral health and Alzheimer’s risk is still being explored, there’s a clear indication that maintaining good oral hygiene can have far-reaching effects on our overall health. By prioritizing regular dental care, managing inflammation through proper oral hygiene, and making healthy lifestyle choices, you can potentially reduce your risk of not only gum disease but also Alzheimer’s disease. If it’s been more than six months since your last dental checkup, schedule a visit with your dentist in Woodbridge today. Remember, a healthy smile might just contribute to a healthier mind. 

Top 10 Ways to Treat Dry Mouth

If you’ve ever experienced the uncomfortable feeling of dry mouth, you know just how eager someone could be to treat it quickly. While some people may experience occasional dryness, others could have a chronic case of dry mouth. Dry mouth isn’t just annoying, it can also lead to other problems such as difficulties speaking, chewing, or swallowing, and could put you at risk for other oral health conditions. Luckily, your dentist in Woodbridge has 10 ways to effectively treat dry mouth and restore comfort to your oral health.

  1. Stay Hydrated

The most basic yet essential step in combating dry mouth is to ensure you stay well-hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and consider carrying a water bottle to sip on regularly. Adequate hydration will help stimulate saliva production and keep your mouth moist.

  1. Eat Saliva-Stimulating Foods

Certain foods can act as natural saliva stimulants and give you relief from dry mouth. Incorporate crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, and celery into your diet. Sugarless chewing gum can also be helpful in encouraging saliva flow while reducing the risk of cavities.

  1. Avoid Dehydrating Substances

Steer clear of substances that can worsen dry mouth symptoms. Reduce your intake of caffeinated and alcoholic beverages as they can dehydrate your body and exacerbate dryness in the mouth.

  1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Maintaining excellent oral hygiene is crucial for individuals with dry mouth. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and don’t forget to floss daily in order to keep your gums healthy and prevent potential infections. Remember to see your dentist in Woodbridge twice a year for checkups. 

  1. Choose Alcohol-Free Mouthwash

Replace alcohol-based mouthwashes with alcohol-free alternatives. Alcohol can contribute to dryness, so opt for products containing fluoride and xylitol, which can aid in saliva production and protect your teeth.

  1. Breathe Through Your Nose

Breathing through your mouth can worsen dryness, so make a conscious effort to breathe through your nose whenever possible. If you struggle with nasal congestion, consult a healthcare professional for suitable remedies.

  1. Use a Humidifier

Dry indoor air can aggravate your dry mouth symptoms, especially during the night. Consider using a humidifier in your bedroom to add moisture to the air and prevent your mouth from drying out while you sleep.

  1. Quit Smoking

Smoking not only dries out your mouth but also contributes to a host of other oral health issues. Quitting smoking can significantly improve your overall oral health and reduce the severity of dry mouth symptoms.

  1. Review Your Medication

If you’re taking medications that list dry mouth as a side effect, consult your healthcare provider. They might adjust your dosage or switch you to an alternative medication that doesn’t cause dry mouth. Never stop taking medications without consulting your doctor. 

  1. Seek Help From Your Dentist

If the remedies don’t provide sufficient relief, it’s time to seek help from your dentist in Woodbridge. They can identify the underlying cause of your dry mouth and recommend appropriate treatments, such as prescription saliva substitutes or medications that promote saliva production.

Dealing with dry mouth can be uncomfortable, but by following these top 10 tips to treat dry mouth, you can find relief and improve your oral health. Implementing these strategies can lead to a healthier and more comfortable oral environment, so you can smile and speak with confidence once again. Embrace these changes, and you’ll soon bid farewell to the desert in your mouth and welcome the refreshing oasis of moisture that you deserve.

Is It Normal To Have Some Discomfort After A Dental Procedure?

Needing to get a dental procedure can be a nerve-wracking experience, so is not knowing what to expect after treatment. It’s important to know that your dentist in Woodbridge will do everything they can to make every visit to their office comfortable. But what if you do experience discomfort after a procedure? The truth is, there are some typical sensations you may feel after dental procedures. Let’s explore what’s normal and how to manage any discomfort effectively.

Understanding Post-Treatment Discomfort

Dental procedures can vary widely, from routine cleanings to more complex treatments like root canals or tooth extractions. Regardless of the procedure’s complexity, it’s essential to remember that your mouth has undergone some form of intervention, and as with any medical procedure, discomfort can be a natural part of the healing process. When dental work is performed, the delicate tissues in your mouth experience trauma or manipulation. This can lead to inflammation, mild tissue damage, and nerve sensitivity. Consequently, you may encounter discomfort or pain as a result of your body’s natural response to the procedure.

Types of Discomfort 

The type and intensity of discomfort you experience can depend on various factors, such as the nature of the dental procedure, your pain tolerance, and your overall oral health. Some common post-treatment discomforts include:

  • Sensitivity 

After certain dental procedures, you may notice increased sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures or when biting down on food or applying pressure to the treated area.

  • Gum Soreness

If your gums were involved in a dental procedure, such as with gum disease treatment or deep cleanings, you might experience soreness or tenderness in the gum tissue.

  • Jaw Pain

Extended dental procedures or keeping your mouth open for an extended period during treatment can sometimes lead to temporary jaw pain or discomfort.

4 Tips for Managing Post-Treatment Discomfort

While some discomfort is normal, it’s essential to know how to manage it effectively to ensure a smoother recovery process. Here are some helpful tips from your dentist in Woodbridge you can try to alleviate post-treatment discomfort:

  1. Follow Post-Procedure Instructions

Your dentist will likely provide you with specific post-procedure instructions. These guidelines may include information about oral hygiene practices, dietary restrictions, and recommended over-the-counter pain relief.

  1. Over-The-Counter Pain Relief

For mild discomfort, over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can provide relief. However, always consult with your dentist or healthcare professional before taking any medication.

  1. Avoid Trigger Foods

If you experience sensitivity, try to avoid extremely hot, cold, or hard foods that can aggravate the treated area. Opt for soft, lukewarm foods until your discomfort subsides.

  1. Use a Desensitizing Toothpaste

For sensitivity issues, consider using a desensitizing toothpaste as it can help reduce sensitivity and discomfort.

When to Contact Your Dentist in Woodbridge

While some discomfort is normal and expected, there are instances when post-treatment sensations might indicate a problem. If you experience any of the following issues, it’s crucial to contact your dentist promptly:

  • Severe or Prolonged Pain
  • Swelling or Inflammation
  • Persistent Bleeding

Experiencing discomfort after a dental procedure is entirely normal, and it’s essential to remember that each person’s healing process is unique. Understanding the causes of post-treatment discomfort and how to manage it effectively can help ease your worries and make your recovery more comfortable. Remember to follow your dentist’s post-procedure instructions and don’t hesitate to reach out to them if you have any concerns. Embracing proper aftercare will not only aid in a speedy recovery but also contribute to a healthier, happier smile in the long run. Your dental health is worth every effort, so take care of your teeth and they’ll take care of you!

What To Do If You Break A Tooth On The Weekend? 

 Breaking a tooth can be a distressing experience, especially if it occurs on a weekend when your dentist may be closed or if you’re away from home on vacation. However, it’s crucial to know what steps to take to manage the situation effectively and minimize further damage. Your dentist in Woodbridge is here to help.

Keep Calm & Evaluate

The first step to take if you break a tooth is to stay calm and evaluate the extent of the damage. Try to locate any broken pieces of the tooth if possible. Assess the severity of the break, including whether it’s a minor chip or a more significant fracture that extends deep into the tooth.

Rinse & Control Bleeding

After assessing the damage, rinse your mouth gently with warm water to clean the area. If there is bleeding, apply gentle pressure with a clean gauze or cloth to control it. Keep in mind that minor bleeding is normal and should subside on its own.

Store Broken Pieces

If you find any broken pieces of the tooth, carefully collect them and rinse them with water. Place the fragments in a clean container filled with milk or saliva. Saving the broken pieces can potentially aid in your dentist’s ability to repair the tooth.

Contact Your Dentist

Contact your dentist in Woodbridge, even if it’s after hours, to explain what happened and schedule an appointment. Give them as much detail as possible including all symptoms. While there are things you can do to alleviate discomfort before seeing your dentist, you will need to visit in order to fix your tooth. 

Protect the Area

To prevent further damage to the broken tooth and reduce pain, avoid biting or chewing on the affected tooth. Additionally, stick to soft foods such as soups, mashed potatoes, and other easily chewable foods until you can see your dentist in Woodbridge

Temporary Pain Relief

If you experience pain or discomfort, over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help alleviate the symptoms temporarily if they’re safe for you to take. Follow the instructions on the packaging and avoid applying pain medication directly to the tooth or gums, as it may cause tissue irritation.

Breaking a tooth at any time can be an unsettling experience, especially if it happens on the weekend. But by following these essential steps, you can effectively manage the situation until you can see a dentist. Remember to stay calm, rinse your mouth, control any bleeding, save the broken tooth pieces, and contact your dentist promptly. By taking the right actions and seeking professional dental care, you can increase the chances of a successful repair and minimize further damage to your tooth.

Why Are Mouthguards Important? 

When it comes to protecting our bodies during physical activities, we often prioritize helmets, knee pads, and other protective gear. However, one crucial piece of equipment that is often overlooked, or is considered only necessary for kids, is the mouthguard. In fact, your dentist in Woodbridge would recommend that everyone wears a mouthguard when playing sports or doing any activity where there’s a risk of contact, whether with another person or an inanimate object because mouthguards play a vital role in safeguarding our oral health and preventing serious dental injuries. 

Prevent Dental Injuries

Engaging in sports or recreational activities without a mouthguard can leave your teeth vulnerable to trauma. A mouthguard acts as a cushion, absorbing the impact of blows to the face or mouth. It helps to distribute the force evenly, reducing the risk of dental injuries such as broken teeth, knocked-out teeth, or injuries to the soft tissues of the mouth. But the benefits don’t end there. 

Protect Against Jaw Injuries

A mouthguard not only protects your teeth but also helps to minimize the risk of jaw injuries. It acts as a shock absorber, reducing the impact on the jaw joint and minimizing the likelihood of fractures or dislocations. By providing a cushioning effect, mouthguards can help prevent serious jaw injuries or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders and related issues.

Avoid Concussions

In addition to dental and jaw injuries, mouthguards have been shown to provide some level of protection against concussions. The cushioning effect of a properly fitted mouthguard can help absorb and distribute the impact forces, reducing the risk of head and brain injuries. While they do not completely eliminate the possibility of concussions, studies suggest that mouthguards may contribute to minimizing their occurrence.

Finding the Right Mouthguard

There are several different kinds of mouthguards to choose from including stock, boil-and-bite, and custom. While any mouthguard is probably better than no mouthguard at all, your dentist in Woodbridge would encourage you to go with a custom option whenever possible. 

Customized Comfort

One common misconception about mouthguards is that they are uncomfortable and make breathing and talking difficult. However, professionally fitted mouthguards offer a customized fit, ensuring optimal comfort and minimal interference with normal functions. Your dentist can create a custom mouthguard from precise impressions of your teeth, gums, and the size of your mouth, providing a secure and comfortable fit that allows you to breathe, speak, and perform at your best.

Mouthguards are essential for protecting your teeth, jaw, and overall oral health during physical activities. Whether you’re participating in contact sports or engaging in recreational hobbies, wearing a mouthguard can significantly reduce the risk of dental injuries, jaw trauma, and even concussions. Don’t overlook the importance of this simple yet effective piece of protective equipment. Consult with your dentist in Woodbridge to have a custom mouthguard made to ensure the best fit and optimal protection. Remember, preserving your smile starts with proactive prevention, and a mouthguard is a valuable tool in achieving that goal.

How to Prevent Tooth Decay

Your dentist in Woodbridge believes that prevention is key when it comes to maintaining optimal oral health. Tooth decay is a common problem that can lead to more significant issues if left untreated. But there’s good news. Tooth decay can often be prevented.

What is Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in your mouth produce acids that erode your tooth enamel. This process can lead to cavities, gum disease, and other oral health problems. Here are some tips for preventing tooth decay:

  • Practice good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day. This is the most effective way to remove the bacteria and food particles that can lead to tooth decay.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste: Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens your tooth enamel and can help prevent tooth decay. Look for toothpaste that contains fluoride to help protect your teeth.
  • Limit sugary foods and drinks: Sugar is a primary food source for the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks to reduce your risk of developing cavities.
  • Drink plenty of water: Drinking water can help wash away food particles and bacteria from your teeth and gums. It can also help neutralize the acids that can cause tooth decay.
  • Chew sugar-free gum: Chewing sugar-free gum after meals can help stimulate saliva production, which can help wash away food particles and neutralize the acid in your mouth.
  • Visit your dentist in Woodbridge regularly: Regular dental checkups and cleanings are essential for maintaining good oral hygiene and detecting any issues early on.

Preventing tooth decay is essential for maintaining optimal oral health. By practicing good oral hygiene, limiting your intake of sugary foods and drinks, and visiting your dentist regularly, you can reduce your risk of developing cavities and other oral health problems. At our dental office in Woodbridge, we are committed to helping our patients maintain optimal oral health. We offer a range of preventative dental services, including dental cleanings, fluoride treatments, and dental sealants. Our experienced team of dental professionals will work with you to develop a personalized dental care plan that meets your unique needs and goals, and we are here to help you achieve and maintain a healthy, beautiful smile. Contact us today to schedule your next dental appointment.

What Are Some Habits That Are Bad for Teeth? 

So much more goes into maintaining a healthy smile besides brushing and flossing your teeth and seeing your dentist in Woodbridge, although those are certainly important. Everything from what we eat and drink to our everyday habits can impact oral health. In fact, there are many habits that are bad for teeth, and some of them you may not even realize you’re doing or know could negatively affect oral health. 

  • Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard

Many people may equate brushing their teeth to them needing a good scrubbing. But the truth is, there is no need to brush so hard. In fact, using too much pressure or brushing vigorously can cause damage. Brushing roughly can wear down tooth enamel, increasing the risk of tooth sensitivity and making teeth more susceptible to decay. Additionally, brushing too hard can irritate the gums and cause them to recede. You should always brush using gentle strokes at a 45-degree angle with a soft-bristled toothbrush.

  • Using Teeth for Things Other Than Chewing

Using your teeth for things other than chewing and speaking could mean an emergency trip to your dentist in Woodbridge. Using your teeth as a third hand to help hold onto something or as a pair of scissors to help open a package can easily damage your teeth. Broken restorations or broken or chipped natural teeth are two of the most common problems linked to using your teeth as tools. Instead, it is always worth taking your time and finding an appropriate tool.

  • Crunching Ice

Crunching on cold, hard ice may seem harmless, and could even be rewarding. But doing so can also break restorations or teeth. Additionally, chronically crunching ice can create small cracks in the teeth. Over time, these cracks can become bigger and bigger, causing problems. 

  • Nail Biting

One of the most common habits that are bad for teeth is nail biting. Even though tooth enamel is hard, nails are also hard, and chronically biting them can cause tooth damage such as chipping a tooth. Nail biting can also cause teeth to move, making them appear crooked, overcrowded, or overlapped. Besides that, habitually biting your nails can even make you place your jaw in an unnatural position, which could lead to jaw pain and TMJ.

  • Using Tobacco

All types of tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco, are bad for both overall and oral health. Not only can this habit increase the risk of cancer throughout the body, but it can also increase the risk of developing oral cancer. Additionally, tobacco use can stain teeth, cause decay, gum disease, and tooth loss.

  • Clenching Your Teeth

Clenching or grinding your teeth could be one of those habits that you may not even realize you’re doing. Often done subconsciously or even during sleep, constantly clenching or grinding teeth could wear down teeth and make them appear short, easily cause chips or cracks, or lead to jaw pain.

Habits are called habits for a reason – they’re part of our lives and they’re hard to break. But there are ways to break them, and we believe that you can. In the meantime, make sure to talk to your dentist in Woodbridge about any habits you have so that they can be on the lookout for any common problems associated with them and offer some tips to quit. 

What Does Oral Cancer Look Like?

 April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, a time when healthcare professionals come together to raise awareness of this sometimes deadly condition.Oral cancer isn’t necessarily a death sentence and can often be treated successfully when it’s caught early. Of course, your dentist in Woodbridge wants to do everything we can to help the cause, so we’re listing out a few things to look out for when it comes to oral cancer. 

Visible Signs of Oral Cancer

Oral cancer can be tricky to detect because it can often look like other things that aren’t so serious. However, any one of these particular signs could be a cause for concern. If you see any of these common signs of oral cancer, you should call your dentist in Woodbridge as soon as possible, especially if they don’t go away on their own after two or three weeks. 

  • Chronic cough
  • Changes in voice 
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • An earache on one side 
  • A hard lump in the soft tissues
  • Swollen tonsil on one side without pain
  • A painless lump on the outside of the neck
  • Any sore that doesn’t heal itself within 2-weeks
  • Discoloration in the mouth, including a red, white, or black appearance

Early Detection is Key

Yes, oral cancer can be deadly. However, it can often be treated very successfully. But the key to successful treatment is to catch it early. During your regular visits to your dentist in Woodbridge, your dental team will look for any concerning areas and monitor any changes that may require more evaluation. You should also keep an eye on your oral health at home to monitor changes in your mouth. Check Your Mouth has some great resources that you can, and should, use to periodically check your mouth for problems. 

Why Does Oral Cancer Occur? 

The truth is that anyone can get oral cancer. But there are certain things that increase the risk. Some of them are controllable, others are not. 

  • Age: People over 50 years old are more likely to get oral cancer 
  • Tobacco Use: 80% of people who get oral cancer are those who use tobacco products
  • Drinking Alcohol: Almost 70% of those diagnosed with oral cancer are heavy drinkers
  • Gender: Men are two times more likely to develop oral cancer than women

Oral cancer is a serious condition that results in nearly 11,600 deaths in America every year. It can affect the tongue, tonsils, gums, and other parts of the mouth. For this reason, and many others, we recommend seeing your dentist in Woodbridge every six months for regular exams. 

How Does Nutrition Affect Oral Health?

What we put into our bodies can certainly affect how we feel and how healthy we are overall. But eating the right foods can not only fuel your body, but it can also enhance your oral health. During this National Nutrition Month, your dentist in Woodbridge dentist wants to help all of our patients know just how important proper nutrition is to oral health. 

What is Proper Nutrition? 

The basics of eating right include reducing fat and sugar intake while increasing the amount of nutrient-rich foods. But how much of what things should your child be eating? That’s where things aren’t so simple. Ever since the original Food Pyramid Guide was published by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1992, nutritional recommendations have shifted. The current standards are reflected in MyPlate and vary depending on age, gender, height, weight, and daily activity level. However, most of the common rules of thumb remain the same including focusing on eating plenty of: 

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole Grains
  • Lean Proteins
  • Dairy

How Are Nutrition and Oral Health Related? 

The body’s response to eating “bad” foods and drinks increases the likelihood of someone experiencing oral health issues and diseases. Let’s look at foods that are high in sugar, for example. Sweets and beverages like soda and even juices packed with sugar attack tooth enamel. If the sugar is not rinsed away or is left exposed to the teeth for long periods of time, it will work away at and erode the protective tooth layer called the enamel. Without this barrier, teeth are more susceptible to cavities and sensitivity. Although almost every food contains some amount of sugar, even the good foods we’re supposed to eat, try your best to stay away from items that have added sugars and remember to read nutritional labels. 

Beware of Hidden Sugars

The sugar content in the sweeter-tasting foods that you choose for you and your family isn’t the only thing your dentist in Woodbridge is wary of. There are hidden sugars everywhere, even in things that don’t taste sweet. Foods that contain a lot of carbohydrates can actually raise blood glucose levels and affect the body the very same way actual sugar does. Since these carbs end up breaking down into simple sugars, they put teeth at the same risk for decay as eating a sweet treat. 

Eat Well, Protect Smiles 

The main goal for your dentist in Woodbridge is to keep patients healthy by being a key member of their healthcare team. Encouraging a healthy, well-balanced diet is a great way to ensure not only a healthy body but also a healthy mouth.

Does Green Beer Stain Your Teeth? 

Some of the most common ways people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day are by wearing a bunch of green, maybe going to a parade, and oftentimes, drinking beer. It’s also likely that you’ll be able to find many bars and restaurants serving green beer, after all, this is one of the biggest drinking holidays all year. However, this green beer, and alcohol in general, can affect your teeth. While your dentist in Woodbridge supports celebrating St. Paddy’s Day as you wish, we do encourage enjoying the day responsibly and reducing your risk of the negative oral health side effects of drinking. 

Tooth Staining

Green beer can certainly stain your teeth as well as your lips and tongue. But this staining is only temporary and should easily disappear after you brush your teeth, ideally with a slightly abrasive whitening toothpaste. However, drinking beer and other types of alcohol, even if they’re not a bright vibrant green, can still cause tooth discoloration. Consuming alcohol regularly can make teeth look yellow or even brown. Darker drinks such as stouts and porters are more likely to lead to discoloration. Now, tooth discoloration that occurs from drinking alcohol over a long period of time probably won’t be removed by brushing your teeth. In this case, you may want to consider talking to your dentist in Woodbridge about your cosmetic dentistry options including veneers or professional smile whitening.

Damage to Enamel 

Sugar is often labeled as the worst thing for teeth, but acidic foods and drinks can also cause damage. When acid is introduced into the mouth, it can wear away tooth enamel. Without this protective barrier, teeth may become increasingly sensitive and can even appear discolored or thin. So what’s this have to do with drinking beer? Well, beer is quite acidic, and drinking too much of it can wear down enamel. 

Gum Disease

While enjoying a drink or two during St. Patrick’s Day probably won’t cause gum disease, drinking alcohol excessively could. Many types of alcohol contain a lot of sugar, and as we know, sugar is one of the worst things for teeth. Sugar found in drinks and food feeds bacteria in the mouth and can form plaque. Plaque is a super sticky film that can be removed by simply brushing your teeth, but if you don’t remove plaque by brushing, it will harden into tartar. Tartar can’t be removed at home, and only your hygienist can clear it away with a professional dental cleaning. Tartar buildup also leaves bacteria free to infect the gum tissue and cause gum disease.   

Reduce The Risk

There are different things you can do to enjoy your St. Paddy’s celebration and protect your teeth at the same time. Drinking alcohol in moderation and alternating a cup of beer with a glass of water will help wash away sugars and acid and reduce the risk of tooth staining, enamel erosion, and gum disease. Of course, we also recommend seeing your dentist in Woodbridge twice a year and brushing and flossing every day. 

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