If you’ve been bleeding while brushing occasionally, you could be seeing a symptom of gum disease. Although it doesn’t happen overnight, gum disease begins by causing mild symptoms such as red, puffy, or bleeding gums and can progress to tooth loss! Alcohol has long been considered one of the culprits of gum disease. But how exactly does this popular beverage cause bleeding gums and other symptoms of gum disease?
Irritates Gum Tissue
Alcohol causes inflammation both in the mouth and in the body. This means it’s a major irritant to your gum tissue. Alcohol is acidic and corrosive to teeth, making it a harmful substance for your smile. This is especially true if consumed in excess. If your gum tissue looks red or swollen and you see blood on your toothbrush every so often—or even daily—this irritation could be caused by drinking alcohol. The less you drink, the better. Research shows that four or more drinks a week can majorly impact gum health!
Poor Dental Hygiene
One common characteristic of alcohol drinkers is that they tend to care less for their smile than people who don’t drink alcohol. The same is true for the body—people who drink alcohol tend to not eat a balanced diet and may even ignore health symptoms. Poor dental hygiene joined with frequent alcohol consumption is a bad combination that can lead to gum disease. Although your symptoms such as bleeding gums may be mild at first, soon you might experience chronic bad breath, root exposure, and loose teeth.
Since alcohol is very dehydrating to the body, it often creates a drying effect in the mouth with less saliva and more bad bacteria. Without enough saliva to act as a buffer between the bacteria that cause plaque and your teeth, you can experience increased plaque in your mouth. This plaque builds up around the gumline if not removed and can quickly irritate the gum tissue. This can lead to infection and bleeding gums if not treated. Alcohol also inhibits your body’s ability to fight infection, so bacteria are more likely to affect gum tissue and your body may not be able to stop them.
What Can You Do?
Your teeth need your gums. They help hold teeth in place and keep your mouth functional and healthy. To stop your bleeding gums, you can start by taking better care of your teeth. This not only means brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist, but also taking a look at your diet.
Try to limit your alcohol consumption to less than four drinks per week. The less you drink, the healthier your gums will be. Eat a well balanced diet and take care of your body and your mouth. Your immune system and your gums will thank you for it! When it comes to bleeding gums, gum disease is likely the problem. Consider if your alcohol consumption could be the cause of your bleeding or irritated gums. Talk to your dentist about treating your gum disease and starting fresh!