Alcohol and Your Gum Health

Many adults enjoy unwinding with an occasional glass of wine, but few consider how it affects their oral health. It’s important to know that even infrequent alcohol intake can have a negative impact on your gums.

A recent study published in the Journal of Periodontology reveals that there is a connection between alcohol consumption and gum disease.

Alcohol Consumption Can Raise Your Risk of Gum Disease By 27%

In a recent study, over 500 participating subjects were asked about their drinking habits. Their gum and overall oral health was evaluated on several points. A surprisingly close relationship between alcohol and the risk of gum disease was discovered as a result. These are the findings:

  • Men who drank regularly had an 18% to 27% increased risk of gum disease.
  • For those with preexisting periodontal disease, alcohol consumption increased the rate and severity of the condition.
  • For those without periodontal disease, elevated alcohol consumption increased certain risk factors for gum disease, including gum detachment, gum bleeding, and increased levels of plaque buildup.

Dry Mouth May be the Common Denominator

Although more research is needed, the connection between drinking alcohol and gum disease seems to be dry mouth (saliva deficiency), which is a common effect of alcohol consumption and bad for your gums. Saliva neutralizes mouth acids and flushes harmful bacteria away from the gums. Since alcohol consumption decreases saliva production, our mouths are no longer benefiting from its protection when we drink.

Take Gum Disease Seriously

Did you know that gum disease is the #1 cause of adult tooth loss? For those over the age of 30, 50% have some degree of gum disease. Fortunately, gum disease is reversible when diagnosed in time.

At Island Family Dental, our professionals know how to treat gum disease and we can help you control it. Do you have any oral health concerns? Contact us today and we can help you achieve the best smile possible!

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