Recently, you have probably heard drinking a glass of red wine can benefit your health. Research shows one glass a day can lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Although it may help your body stay healthy, your dentist in Irving will advise against it. Even moderately drinking alcohol has negative implications for your oral health, increasing your risk of tooth decay and other issues, but how bad is it?
Alcohol and Your Oral Health
A study published in Microbiome reports one glass of red wine per day can significantly increase your risk of oral health complications. At any given time, your mouth has over 700 different species of bacteria. Some are helpful to your dental health while others can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
The study involved 1,044 participants ranging in age from 55 to 87. 270 of the participants were nondrinkers, 614 drank alcohol in moderation, and 160 were heavy drinkers. The study also evaluated their diet, drinking, and lifestyle habits. Researchers also used a saliva sample to measure their oral bacteria.
The results of the study found those who were nondrinkers had significantly less harmful bacteria than those who drank even on occasion. While the study does not indicate a threshold for alcohol consumption, there is a connection between heavy alcohol consumption and higher levels of bad bacteria.
The study further gives evidence supporting alcohol use and the risk of serious chronic oral health concerns. With your mouth the gateway to your general health, gum disease can lead to various health issues, like cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetic complications.
With alcohol increasing harmful bacteria in your mouth, it heightens the risk of gum disease, which currently affects roughly 50% of adults in the United States. The bacteria responsible for the infection destroys the supporting structures of your teeth. It is a leading cause of tooth loss in the U.S. The bacteria can also enter your bloodstream. As it circulates throughout your body, it causes inflammation, which can lead to a host of health complications, including heart attack and stroke.
To save your oral and general health, you must receive gum disease therapy from your Irving dentist quickly. Unfortunately, if you consume alcohol, it is more difficult to treat because alcohol reduces your body’s ability to heal and fight infection.
Is Alcohol Safe for My Smile?
Although more research is needed to determine what role the participants’ oral hygiene habits played in the results versus the alcohol itself, it is best to skip heavy drinking. If you cannot give up your glass of wine, it is best to brush your teeth right away or rinse your mouth with water to help rid harmful bacteria in your mouth.
About Dr. Natalie Stimpson
Dr. Natalie Stimpson not only earned her dental degree but also completed advanced training in specialty services, like rotary endodontics, tooth extractions, and geriatric dentistry. She provides individualized solutions to perverse your teeth for a lifetime. Schedule your appointment today to achieve a healthy smile.