It’s widely known that alcohol consumption is tied to specific types of cancer, as well as cardiovascular disease and cirrhosis or trauma to the liver. Yet, what may come as a surprise is that alcohol increases one’s risk of oral cancer dramatically. As reported by the Dental Health Foundation, when comparing those who drink alcohol with those that do not, those that consume alcohol regularly are six times more likely to develop oral cancer. Additionally, depending on the type of alcoholic drink one chooses, there is an increased risk of dental cavities, dry mouth, and staining.
The good news concerning alcohol consumption and oral health, however, is that by choosing the right beverage and committing to regular dental checkups, patients can enjoy celebrations and holiday seasons without fear of sabotaging their dental health.
As a major risk factor in tooth and gum disease, the amount of sugar in an alcoholic beverage must be considered. This is because bacteria inside the mouth thrive on sugar. Suppose you are offered a choice between dry champagne and a sweet red wine. For the most part, a sweet beverage can have up to 10 grams of sugar in a 5-ounce serving, while dry champagne contains .5 grams of sugar respectively. In this case, the drier champagne is a better choice for healthy teeth.
Perhaps the greatest culprit pertaining to the consumption of alcohol is dry mouth. Without question, when the amount of saliva decreases, harmful bacteria are not washed away effectively. Instead, bacteria adhere to the surfaces of teeth and gums, increasing the risk of decay. Even further, bacteria clings to the cell walls of soft tissues, which allows for carcinogens to penetrate tissues. While this is damaging in itself, heavy alcoholic consumption affects the body’s ability to fight infection, including the formation of oral cancers.
When it comes to consuming alcohol, dental professionals agree that individuals can protect their oral health by drinking in moderation, keeping up with regular oral care, and visiting their dentist every six months.
We Care About Your Oral and Overall Health
While we utilize the most up-to-date dental technology available, the team at Precision Digital Dentistry commit to helping patients make informed decisions about their health by giving them the information they need. If you are in Bridgewater or surrounding area, and you are searching for a personable dentist that cares about your oral and overall health, call Precision Digital Dentistry today.