In a new music video delivered by the man who swept the dance world with "Gangnam Style," Psy teams up with Snoop Dogg to brush his teeth of the remnants of a rough night.
The video, titled "Hangover," shows the duo waking up disheveled, puking and scrubbing their teeth vigorously against a head-pounding bass line and saxophone riff.
Before they sit beside what looks like a fountains of appletinis, both artists stand in front of the mirror, their toothbrushes zooming around their mouths in a sped-up motion. And this comes moments after Psy is horseshoed around the toilet, spilling last night's contents.
From an oral health standpoint, the video calls attention to the underreported connection between drinking alcohol, vomiting and the need for proper dental care.
Vomiting and dental care
Acids in vomit are horrible for surfaces inside the mouth. When you puke, the gastric acid from your stomach enters your mouth. However, teeth are not designed to withstand this corrosive digestive fluid. So, as it makes it way into the oral cavity, the acids erode dental enamel, which is the hard covering that protects your teeth from damage. When tooth enamel is worn out, your teeth are at a very high risk for decay.
Despite the song's message of getting obscenely drunk, vomiting and repeating it all again the next day, it is important for people to understand the price they pay for heavy alcohol consumption and purging.
Dental damage can occur after as little as six months of frequent vomiting, and oral changes may include chemical erosion, thermal hypersensitivity - involving heightened sensitivity to hot and cold foods - and swelling of salivary glands. At this point, teeth could become brittle and even translucent. Avoid frequent vomiting to minimize dental damage.
Brushing immediately after vomiting causes more damage
While vomiting will leave horrible bad breath in your mouth, you should not brush your teeth immediately after getting sick. This will cause further abrasion to tooth enamel, since your teeth's fortification has been weakened and susceptible to hard scrubbing from bristles. Instead, rinse your mouth out with water and alcohol-free mouthwash and wait at least 30 minutes before brushing.
Alcohol by itself has a troublesome effect on teeth. Beverages that contain alcohol induce dry mouth, which occurs when saliva production comes to a halt. Without saliva, teeth and gums become a breeding ground for harmful anaerobic bacteria.
Currently, "Hangover" has 25 million views on YouTube. Those who have spent a night drinking heavily might have experienced the unpleasant feeling of throwing up, and while one night of such behavior will not destroy teeth, repeated vomiting poses a high risk.