Alcohol’s Effect On Our Gum Health

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.

Drinking Can Raise Our Risk For Gum Disease By 27 Percent

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.

Correlative Relationship May Be Caused By Dry Mouth

While further research is needed to evaluate the precise reason for this connection, it seems to be greatly due to dry mouth, a common effect of alcohol consumption. Saliva neutralizes acid in the mouth, and serves to cleanse our mouths from harmful bacteria. Alcohol decreases saliva production, and can strip our mouths of the protection they need.

Effective Flossing Will Protect Gum Health

Preserve Your Smile By Taking Gum Disease Seriously

Gum disease is the #1 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 strategic oral care.

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

Talk With Us About Your Habits 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. Be upfront with us about your habits, and we can help give you the most effective care and advice to preserve your healthy smile for life.

Thanks for your trust in our practice! We appreciate you.

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 providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
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