How do smoking and drinking affect the mouth?

After a night out, we take great care of ourselves the next day to get on from the hangover. We
search the net for hacks and tricks and even take a day off to give rest to ourselves. But we do
not wonder what happens to our mouths.
Smoking and drinking do terrible things to your oral health on many levels. But do you know
what exactly it does? Do you know how your mouth, tongue, inner lining, and roof of your mouth
are affected?
This article will not just make you more aware of what a drink or smoke does to your mouth, but
also highlight how you can reduce the effects and improve. It is also important to be aware of
these things to possibly avoid any major disorder from developing.
Effects of alcohol
A good night off from your day-to-day life can be of the utmost importance to your mental health,
but we all know the physical harm that comes with it. When I say that your body is getting
affected by alcohol, you might be thinking of the liver or kidneys.
This is a very common misperception, as before it gets to the liver or kidneys, it gets to your
mouth. I am talking both about the drink and its effects.
Let us now see what it does to you:
1. Do you remember being told to feel plenty of water when you drink? Well, it is for good
2. Alcohol makes your mouth supremely dry. Xerostomia, or dry mouth, has various
3. A dry mouth causes atrophy of your salivary glands, harming them to a great extent. This
can be linked to several digestion problems as well, since your food starts getting
digested from the mouth itself.
4. Gum diseases can develop from long-term alcohol abuse. This can eventually lead to
tooth loss as well.
5. Strong pH changes in the mouth can destroy the enamel, and long-term use of alcohol
makes your pearly whites prone to tooth decay.
Does this mean you have to avoid alcohol altogether?
Sudden changes in habits such as drinking will only give you withdrawal symptoms and a
feeling of seclusion from your friends and family. But the fact that drinking makes your body
prone to a wide variety of diseases cannot be ignored.
You can work on gradually reducing your alcohol intake. This will not just do wonders for your
oral health but also for your body and mental health.
Okay, so how harmful is smoking?
Now we know what happens after drinking. Is smoking any better, or is it worse?
Here is a list of things that can develop from long-term smoking:
1. Teeth staining is the least harmful condition that could develop. This happens with the
use of excessive alcohol as well.
2. A smoker’s keratosis is a condition that causes a white-colored lesion in the inner lining
of your mouth due to exposure to concentrated heat from smoke.
3. Bad smell and taste.
4. Excessive smoking can even lead to mouth cancer.
Putting things into perspective from this, Both smoking and drinking cause severe damage to
your mouth.
While large amounts of alcohol corrode your mouth of moisture that is needed to protect the
mouth from infections and a whole lot of other problems, excessive heat, and concentrated
smoke from cigarettes and vaping lead to other life-threatening diseases.
Way forward
But now, what is the way forward?
Here are some practises that will help you prevent such severe problems from developing.
1. Drink plenty of water. This will rehydrate your mouth and replenish moisture lost from
smoking and drinking.
2. Practice proper oral hygiene regularly. Brush for the full 2 minutes, paying attention to all
corners of the mouth. Do not forget tricky places like the tongue, roof of your mouth, and
back of the tongue.
3. Be gentle with brushing and flossing, and do not forget that your mouth is already prone
to corrosion. Hence, also avoid extra-sugary or spice-rich foods that will introduce a
strong flavor.
4. If you have been smoking and drinking for a while, consult your dentists and wait for
some time before getting any dental surgery immediately. This is because it will take
longer for your gums and the inner lining of your mouth to heal.
5. Speaking generally, make a sincere effort to quit smoking. Since alcohol sometimes
becomes a social obligation, if quitting altogether seems like a distant dream, just cut
back on it.
Oral cancer
About 50,000 people in the US suffer from oral cancer every year.
This number shows the amount of attention that we need to pay to oral cancer, smoking,
drinking, and related habits.
Oral cancer is dangerous not because of how common it is becoming, even in people under the
age of 40, but because of the low chances of diagnosing it in its early stages.
It is detected in the later stages, when reversing it becomes close to impossible.
General symptoms of oral cancer include discolored tissues in your mouth, sudden weight
change, pain in the ear, face, or neck, and difficulty in chewing or swallowing.
Cutting down on alcohol and staying away from smoking is the best way to avoid the chances of
oral cancer. However, HPV also causes oral cancer. The human papillomavirus causes a
number of infections and diseases in the human body, and one of them is oral cancer.
It is recommended that you visit your dentist without fail each year for a regular dental checkup
so that any abnormal tissues or growth can be monitored at an early stage.
Enough of all that scary talk.
The truth is that we are here to help you, to make you aware of potential mouth disorders, and
to provide the best care in situations that are unavoidable.
Meet us to say bye-bye to your fear of dentists. We are a group of professional and friendly
neighbourhood dentists and dental experts to help you safeguard your smile.
Click here to reach out to us.

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