Gum Health And Alcohol

EVEN IF YOU only enjoy an occasional glass of wine, it’s important to know how it can affect your gum health. A recent study published in the Journal of Periodontology brings new light to the connection between alcohol consumption and gum disease.

Alcohol Raises Risk Of Gum Disease By 27%

Over 500 study participants were asked about their drinking habits, and their gum and overall oral health was evaluated on several levels. This revealed a surprisingly close relationship between alcohol and gum disease risk.

  • Men who drank regularly were shown to have an 18 to 27 percent increased risk of gum disease.
  • For people who already had periodontal disease, levels of alcohol consumption increased the rate and severity of the condition.
  • In participants without periodontal disease, heightened alcohol consumption increased risk factors for gum disease: symptoms like gum detachment, gum bleeding, and increased plaque levels.

Dry Mouth

The reason for this connection is thought to be down to dry mouth though further research is needed to evaluate the precise reason for this. Dry mouth is a common effect of alcohol consumption. Saliva neutralizes acid in the mouth, and serves to protect our mouths from harmful bacteria. Alcohol causes decreased saliva production, thus reducing the protection our mouths need.

Effective Flossing Will Protect Gum Health

Save Your Smile

Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. 50 percent of those over 30 are affected by some level of gum disease. The good news is that in its early stages, gum disease is reversible with thorough oral care.

Here at our practice, we know how to deal with gum disease and we can help you manage it.

Be Honest So We Can Give You The Best Care

Here’s our advice to you: be aware of the risks that alcohol poses to your oral health, especially if you enjoy an occasional (or not-so-occasional) drink. Excessive alcohol consumption is also known to be an important risk factor for mouth cancer. Be upfront with us about your habits, and we can help give you the most effective care and advice to preserve your health and smile for life.

Top image by Flickr user San Sharma used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health care professionals with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.