Frequent Alcohol Use May Negatively Impact Oral Health

Brazilian researchers have discovered a correlation between the frequency of a regular drinker’s alcohol consumption and the severity of the individual’s existing gum disease. After evaluating 542 people, researchers discovered that alcohol not only increases the risk factors for gum disease, but also aggravates existing cases of periodontitis.

Those who regularly consumed alcohol had greater pocket depths of four or more millimeters.  Since alcohol simultaneously dries out the mouth and slows down the production of saliva, even drinkers without gum disease had higher levels of plaque than non-drinkers. Lastly, drinkers had a higher susceptibility to bleeding gums than non-drinkers.

For those who frequently consume alcohol, maintaining quality oral hygiene is of the utmost importance to prevent periodontitis, which has been linked to a variety of other chronic health conditions including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer. To counteract the negative effects of alcohol, the American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day, flossing daily and receiving regular oral checkups.