A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that over 64.7 million American adults, or one in two adults, suffer from periodontitis. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, periodontal disease and periodontitis remain a significant public health issue. This is troubling since these conditions could have been prevented if adults steered clear from substances that contribute to the development of these conditions. Among them, according to recent research, is alcohol consumption.
There’s no harm if you’re drinking a beer or two once a month, but if you find yourself drinking four or more drinks every weekend, you may want to consider slowing down. Alcoholics tend to have poor oral hygiene, which leaves their mouths open to dental problems like cavities and tooth decay. Prevent yourself from developing periodontitis now by drinking alcohol in moderation and seeking expert dental and oral health advice from a trusted dentist
Alcohol’s Effect on the Mouth
Dental experts explain that alcohol generally impairs the body’s primary immunologic defense mechanisms that are vital in fighting infection. Moreover, alcohol also causes dehydration in the mouth and impairs the production of saliva. When this happens, bacteria lingers around the teeth and gums, expediting plaque formation.
Periodontitis among Alcoholics
A recent study published in the Journal of Periodontology looked into the link between alcohol consumption and periodontitis. Researchers looked into 88 patients who were divided into four groups based on their periodontal status and alcohol consumption levels. They discovered that the group of alcohol-dependent periodontitis patients had the worst periodontal status and showed higher frequency of periodontal pathogens.
In their microbial analysis of the group, researchers further explained that there were significant differences in bacterial counts among the four groups, with the group of alcohol-dependent periodontitis patients demonstrating higher counts of bacteria. In the end, American Academy of Periodontology president Joan Otomo-Corgel notes that everyone, especially those who enjoy the occasional drink, should take proper care of their gums and teeth.
How can you achieve better periodontal health? It all begins with proper oral hygiene, brushing not only the teeth but also the gums, and limiting your alcohol consumption every month. You should also keep your mouth hydrated to prevent bacteria and plaque buildup by drinking seven glasses of water every day. Finally, regular visits to a dentist like those from Buckhead Esthetic Dentistry, serving patients around Buckhead and nearby Atlanta areas, can help you lessen your risk of developing periodontitis.
Drinking alcohol may worsen periodontal disease, Dr. Bicuspid
Alcohol Use & Periodontal Disease, Live Strong
Nearly one out of two U.S. adults suffers from periodontal disease, News Medical