29 January 2016 newsmiledentalperth

How Does Alcohol Effect Your Gum Health?

Whether you enjoy an occasional glass of wine or a more frequent drink, it’s important to know how your oral health can be affected. Recently, a study in the Journal of Periodontology showed a link between gum disease and consuming alcohol.

Increased Risk of Gum Disease

In the study, over 500 people were interviewed about their alcohol consumption and their gum and oral health were assessed. The research showed a strong relationship between alcohol and the risk of gum disease:

  • • The risk of gum disease increased 18 to 27 percent for men who drank regularly.
  • • Alcohol consumption increased the rate and severity of periodontal disease in people who already had the condition.
  • • Alcohol consumption by those who did not have periodontal disease heightened the risk of gum disease with noticeable symptoms such as bleeding, increased plaque levels and gum detachment.

 

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Dry Mouth May be the Cause

Further research is needed into the effects of alcohol on oral health, but it appears a likely cause is dry mouth, which is a common side effect. Alcohol minimises the production of saliva, which is a neutraliser of acid within the mouth. Without saliva, our mouths do not have the protection they need from bacteria-causing acids.

Protect Your Smile

Gum disease affects 50% of people over 30 and is the main cause of tooth loss for adults. However, with good oral hygiene and regular check-ups, gum disease can be detected in its early stages and reversed.

Care for Oral Health

Keep your oral health in mind next time you reach for a drink and talk to us about your habits so we can provide you with the care and support you need to maintain a healthy smile.