Alcohol abuse does more than just damage your liver and other organs. It can also affect the health and beauty of your teeth and gums. The stains produced by beer, liquor and other alcoholic beverages are real reminders of how dangerous your addiction is for your body. But you can remove the stains and protect your teeth and gums from decay and disease with cosmetic dental treatments. Cosmetic treatments, such as laser gum reshaping and tooth whitening, improve the appearance and health of your mouth in as little as a few visits. Here's what you can expect from your treatments and what you can do at home to maintain your new look.
How Does Laser Gum Reshaping Work?
Alcohol places a big role in how well your blood vessels function and behave in your body, including in your gums. The chemicals in alcoholic beverages clog, constrict or close up blood vessels as they travel through them. Since the blood vessels in your gums keep them healthy, pink and firm, the chemicals in alcohol change how they look and feel, which makes them susceptible to bacteria.
Bacteria is the main cause of gum disease. If your gums become loose and tender, they bleed and ooze small amounts of pus. By not seeing your cosmetic dentist for care, you can lose your teeth to gum disease. In addition, your gumline recedes and loses its natural curve.
Laser gum reshaping is a unique treatment that repairs the damages to your gums by removing diseased tissue. The treatment also creates a new gumline, which makes your teeth appear longer and healthier in your mouth.
Additionally, your dentist may apply special antibacterial medications called oral antibiotics beneath the gumline to encourage new cells to grow and healthier blood vessels to form. With regular gum cleanings and dental visits, you can reverse your gum disease.
Will Tooth Whitening Remove All of Your Stains?
After your cosmetic dentist repairs your gums, have your teeth whitened by laser. Laser tooth whitening is a quick and relatively painless treatment. Regular tooth whitening services only remove stains from the surfaces of your tooth enamel. However, laser-enhanced whiteners penetrate your dentin, which is the second layer of hard tissue inside your teeth.
Dentin absorbs the chemicals, dyes and other harmful ingredients found in alcohol. Because dentin is darker than enamel, the stains show up more when you smile. Laser-enhanced whiteners, such as hydrogen peroxide, soak through your tooth enamel until they reach the dentin. The process bleaches away stains instead of just lightening them.
It usually takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to remove the stains from your teeth. The time depends on how deep the stains are on your teeth.
The final results of your tooth whitening treatment varies, but your teeth may appear several shades lighter, depending on the original color of your teeth and the type of whitening system your dentist uses.
What Can You Do After Your Cosmetic Dental Treatments?
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy and strong after your cosmetic dental treatments is essential. If you haven't done so already, seek substance abuse treatment to quit your alcohol abuse habit. Even if you see your dentist for cosmetic treatments regularly, the chemicals in alcohol still place your oral health at risk for other problems, such as poor bone development.
In addition, eating healthier foods--like watermelon--hydrates your gums and keeps bacteria at bay. Alcohol dries out your mouth, which creates excess bacteria on your teeth and gums.
If you want to know more about cosmetic tooth whitening and gum reshaping, contact a cosmetic dentistry clinic today.