What is the best alcohol for your teeth according to the pH?

Is it true that if the acidity of the drink is higher (and ph is lower) than it's worse for your teeth (enamel erosion + bacteria friendly acidic environment) than if the alcohol drink is less acidic?

Does vodka have the highest pH of all the alcohol drinks out there and therefore is the best for your teeth?

  • $\begingroup$ Why the downvote? Should I move it to biology SE ? But I personally think that biochemistry is much closer to chemistry than biology. $\endgroup$
    – Derfder
    Nov 5 '13 at 13:19
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe the title could be better.. more related to chemistry than medical health... (But this is a my opinion...) $\endgroup$
    – G M
    Nov 5 '13 at 14:34
  • $\begingroup$ Ethanolic KOH, clearly. Great for your teeth, terrible for your rest of you. $\endgroup$
    – Aesin
    Nov 5 '13 at 23:57
  • $\begingroup$ Worth mentioning that alcohol has a tendency to reduce salive excretion which in turn increases growth of bacteria. $\endgroup$
    – user4252
    Jan 22 '14 at 16:45

Sugar content will be the determining factor in tooth decay, my dentist informed me when I asked her this very question that it's not the inherent acidity of the drink / food stuff that does the damage.

What does cause damage is the bacteria in your mouth digesting simple sugars over a long period of time. From Wikipedia;

Tooth decay disease is caused by specific types of bacteria that produce acid in the presence of fermentable carbohydrates such as sucrose, fructose, and glucose.

I took this advice as meaning I should take all my drinks neat of course.

  • $\begingroup$ I think he told you just the A and forget to tell you the B. And that is that the enamel is destroyed by acid stuff in general (as all human cells) but most of them can be repaired or replaced by other cells. Everytime you take a drink of a soda you get 20 seconds of acid attack on your teeth. Which in time will eat away at your enamel and then cause a cavity. The increased acid strips the natural protective layer on your teeth and the enamel begins to slowly lose its natural minerals and therefore breakdown, causing decay. $\endgroup$
    – Derfder
    Nov 5 '13 at 21:21
  • $\begingroup$ @Derfder You are right that pH matters, but mostly wrong that it matters much. If you drink lots of coke or some fruit juices, the acid will erode enamel, but you have to drink a lot to do more damage than the sugar content will cause. Most alcoholic drinks will not be either so sweet or so acid as coke (unless they contain coke, of course) so will cause far less damage. Sweet alcoholic drinks will most damage you because of the sugar not the alcohol. $\endgroup$
    – matt_black
    Jan 22 '14 at 21:02

Is quite reductive think that pH is the onlyfactor that determinate the health of your teeth, the content of carbohydrate have a strong effect too. However in fact to my knowledge clear vodaka have one of the highest pH and very few carbohydrates so indeed is one of the most "teeth friendly alcohol drink". These is take from Victor R. Preedy, Ronald Ross Watson Academic Press, 24/dic/2004 Comprehensive Handbook of Alcohol Related Pathology with the adding of Vodka and Coca Cola.

\begin{array}{|c|c|c|c|}\hline Alcolic \space beverage & Carboydrate \space content(\%) & pH \\ \hline Beer & 3.0-5.0 & 4.1-4.5 \\ \hline Wine & 0.0-12.9 & 2.8-3.8 \\ \hline Sweet \space liquor & 30.0-31.0 & 3.3-3.9 \\ \hline Strong \space alcohol & 0.0-1.2 & 6.5-6.9\\ \hline Vodka & very \space few & 6.0-7.0 \\ \hline Coca Cola & 10.6(?) & 2.8\\ \hline \end{array}

However keep out from Vodka lemon!


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.