Is There a Link Between Alcohol and Gum Disease?

You might love going home after work, taking off your shoes, and pouring yourself a glass of wine. Or perhaps you like beer? Whatever your preference, it is OK to do so in moderation; nonetheless, you may be unaware of the potential danger you are placing yourself in when it comes to consuming alcohol and its link to gum disease. In this post, you’ll discover how the two are related and why it’s best to switch to a healthy beverage to safeguard your smile.

How Your Favorite Alcoholic Drink Can Harm Your Gums

The more alcohol you consume, whether it’s a glass of red wine, a cold beer, or a straight shot of whiskey, the more nasty bacteria accumulate within your mouth. As a result, you are more likely to get gum disease.

The human body is made up of trillions of bacteria and microorganisms, collectively known as the microbiome. Because there is a distinction between “good” and “bad” bacteria, it is critical that you maintain basic oral hygiene to prevent the “bad” from outnumbering the “good.”

In a study, researchers at NYU Langone Health in New York City discovered that alcohol intake significantly alters the oral microbiome. After analyzing mouthwash samples from over 1,000 persons in the United States, 59 percent identified as “moderate” drinkers, while 15 percent identified as “heavy” drinkers. Their samples had fewer beneficial bacteria; however, other characteristics such as age, dental hygiene habits, and food were taken into account.

So, while researchers cannot conclusively state that alcohol causes gum disease, they do recommend that people practice good dental hygiene and consume alcoholic beverages in moderation.

What You Can Do to Prevent Gum Disease

Even if you don’t drink moderately or heavily, there are steps you may do to reduce your risk of gum disease. Because alcohol is not the only factor that causes this damaging and deadly disease, you should:

  • Maintain good dental hygiene at home.
  • If you have bleeding, irritation, or soreness around your gums, consult a periodontist.
  • Consume fewer carbs and sugars and instead pick for healthier options (i.e., leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, low-fat dairy).
  • Quit bad habits like smoking and using your teeth as instruments.
  • Consume alcohol in moderation.
  • Maintain frequent three-to-six-month dental examinations and cleanings to avoid increasing gum disease and tooth decay symptoms.

Maintaining healthy teeth and gums will improve your general health, so be conscious of how much you consume as well as what you do to safeguard the future of your smile.

Get in Touch with West Houston Periodontics & Dental Implants Today

If you would like more information about the potential link between gum disease and alcohol consumption, contact the Houston office of Dr. Kevin B. Calongne, D.D.S. We take pride in delivering the resources and information our patients need to make informed decisions about the health of their teeth and gums and how that impacts their overall wellness.

To schedule a consultation for your periodontal concerns or to explore the possibility of receiving dental implants to replace missing teeth, get in touch with our team by calling (713) 365-9626.