Does Alcohol Consumption lead to Gum Disease?

September 30th, 2015

Does Alcohol Consumption lead to Gum Disease?

It’s always been said that a glass of wine a night is good for the heart, however alcohol itself may have some negative consequences other than just a pounding headache the next morning. Lifetime Family Dental, your dentist in Gilbert AZ, doesn’t recommend overdoing the “glass of wine” strategy especially due to some recent findings connecting alcohol consumption and gum disease.

A study published in the Journal of Periodontology by Brazilian researchers has examined the affects of alcohol consumption on gum health. The findings seem to indicate that adult beverages can aggravate existing cases of periodontal disease and increase the risk of those not already suffering from gum disease. This, linked with previously known research that revealed poor oral hygiene as being a common trait amongst alcohol users, is reason to have additional caution with alcohol consumption.

These findings are still preliminary and not conclusive, but in a study of over 500 individuals who consumed and abstained from alcohol in various amounts, several key findings were uncovered. Some of which included: the frequency of alcohol use correlated incrementally with the severity of periodontitis, gum bleeding increased in drinkers without periodontitis, and drinkers suffered from higher levels of periodontitis than non-drinkers. The reason that alcohol may be a factor in gum disease is it’s negative affect on the production of saliva. Saliva helps neutralize acids, with less saliva gums are more vulnerable to periodontal disease.

Is heavy drinking leading to uncomfortable gums and dental pain? Dr. Norton and his staff are hear to help! Schedule your appointment to begin your treatment and maybe consider cutting back on the booze for a bit!

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (9/30/2015) ume-y (Flickr)