Author: Lizzie Smith – blog last updated on Saturday, 13th January 2024
If your breath smells of cigarettes, cigars or alcohol, this isn’t strictly speaking halitosis. However, other people (provided they’re not emitting the same odours) usually find it disturbing. In addition, smoking and too much alcohol have a long-term effect on your oral health, meaning you can eventually suffer from “real” bad breath.
In this article, we’ll look at the adverse effects of smoking and excess alcohol on your oral health. And, of course, what you can do about it.
Chewing gum to prevent smoker’s breath
This is the most straightforward and obvious remedy for the bad smell and taste after smoking. Chewing gum not only immediately gives a fresh smell and taste, but it also stimulates saliva production. More saliva compensates for the increased acidity after smoking.
To take care of your oral health after smoking, it’s essential to choose dental care chewing gum. For example, Moist-R Hydrating Chewing Gum contains high-quality xylitol to protect teeth and stimulate salivary glands. If you dislike chewing gum, hydrate your mouth with Moist-R Xylitol Tablets for Dry Mouth.
You can use the same chewing gum and tablets after a night of heavy drinking to neutralise the breath odour and taste in your mouth. But if you’ve consumed far too much alcohol, the booze smell not only comes from your mouth but also from your lungs. During the breakdown of alcohol, gases are created that end up in your lungs via the bloodstream, which you then exhale.
The long-term effects of smoking on your oral health
We all know smoking is bad for our overall health. But smoking also harms your oral health. This damage increases the risk of oral problems such as bad breath, increased tartar and gum infections.
The deteriorated oral health is partly due to the reduced production of saliva, a side effect of nicotine. Less saliva means acidification and less protection for your teeth and gums. A dry mouth always favours harmful oral bacteria.
But there’s more. Smoking narrows the blood vessels in the gums, causing poor blood flow. Good blood circulation is essential for healthy gums. In addition, inflamed gums in smokers can go unnoticed for longer because they bleed less quickly. Finally, the narrowed blood vessels supply fewer immune cells, which you need to protect your oral cavity against harmful microbes.
Effects of excessive alcohol consumption on your oral health
As well as smoking, alcohol also negatively impacts your oral health. There’s a difference between an occasional drink and daily drinking.
The effects of alcohol on overall health have been studied for some time. Scientific studies show adverse effects on the liver, stomach, heart, blood vessels and the brain. Alcohol is actually poison to the human body. In fact, one researcher indicated that if alcohol were invented today, it wouldn’t be legal for sale.
The effects of alcohol on oral health are much less researched. Yet the oral flora is clearly disturbed in moderate and heavy drinkers. In addition, alcohol has a drying effect on body tissues, which is also detrimental to your oral health.
The combination of smoking and alcohol
At a party and when going out, alcohol and smoking often go hand in hand, with the combination accumulating adverse effects. This creates an even greater risk of disturbance in the bacterial balance, too little saliva, dry oral membranes and too high acidity in the mouth. All in all, there’s an even greater risk of bad breath, caries (cavities) and gum infections.
Quitting unhealthy habits
Of course, stopping these unhealthy habits is best for your overall oral health. In terms of alcohol consumption, we’re not saying the occasional drink, but heavy and daily drinking. An alcohol addiction is sometimes difficult to recognise, especially for the person himself. Addictions grow slowly, and the use of alcohol is socially accepted.
Quitting smoking isn’t always easy, and the same applies to excessive alcohol consumption. If you can’t do it by yourself, seek help. Your doctor can help you further with this.
If you choose to continue smoking and drinking, at least try to limit the damage to your teeth. And if you’ve stopped (whether with or without help), why not reward yourself with whiter teeth with a JuliBrite Whitening Kit?
Compensating for smoking and drinking with good oral hygiene.
If you really can’t or don’t want to quit smoking and/or drinking, you can at least compensate for the harmful effects of tobacco. Pay even more attention to your daily oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth twice daily for 2 minutes and flossing or brushing daily is a given. But also pay attention to the ingredients of your toothpaste and mouthwash. Use mild products that don’t further disrupt the balance of the oral flora, and that stabilise the acidity in your mouth.
Care products that respect your oral flora can indeed be effective. Examples include JuliBrite Chewable Toothpaste and JuliBrite Mouthwash. RyttPro Toothpaste and Mouthwash also have a gentle, mouth-friendly formula.
Moisturise your mouth during the day using the chewing gum or tablets mentioned above, and occasionally spray Moist-R Refreshing Tongue Spray. This also hydrates your oral mucosa and stimulates saliva production.
Due to the disturbed bacterial balance of smokers and heavy drinkers, more harmful bacteria are in their mouths. The back of the tongue is a good hiding place for bacteria, where they convert sugars into foul-smelling gases that cause bad breath. Most smokers‘ sense of smell deteriorates, so they usually can’t smell it themselves.
If you smoke or drink heavily, you can’t avoid clearing your tongue daily. But don’t do that with your toothbrush. Its bristles are far too stiff, and the high head of your toothbrush prevents you from properly cleaning the back of your tongue.
Use a tongue scraper or a special tongue brush. Even better, use a tongue cleaner that’s both a tongue brush and a tongue scraper. You can use this together with a unique cleaning product for the tongue.
With the effective tongue cleaner from JuliBrite, brush your tongue with the accompanying JuliBrite Tongue Gel from the JuliBrite Tongue Clean Kit. The effective but safe gel contains zinc lactate, which makes short work of harmful bacteria between your tongue papillae. You can then use the tongue scraper to wipe deposits and dirt off your tongue.
After cleaning, sprinkle a few drops of Bergenfeld Tongue Serum on the back of your tongue.
In addition, you should be alert to gum infections and, like everyone else, visit the dentist regularly. As a persistent smoker and/or heavy drinker, it’s advisable to see the dental hygienist more often.
How to make your yellow teeth white again
Apart from bad breath, both smoking and alcohol discolour your teeth.
If you’ve stopped smoking, treatment with the JuliBrite Whitening Kit is a suitable reward. As an ex-smoker, you can get rid of your yellow smoker’s teeth quickly and inexpensively. This home whitening kit lets you whiten your teeth up to 10 shades. It’s also much more affordable than a costly whitening treatment at the dentist! The ingredients used are completely safe for both your enamel and your gums.
This whitening method doesn’t use hydrogen peroxide, which is known to cause sensitive teeth. Instead, the JuliBrite Whitening Kit works with the safe ingredients PAP and HAP. PAP (phthalimido peroxy caproic acid) is a mild and safe bleaching agent without the harmful side effects of hydrogen peroxide. HAP (hydroxyapatite) is a natural mineral that makes PAP bleaching more effective and strengthens tooth enamel.
British Dental Journal: The relevance of alcohol to dental practice