Enjoying a glass of wine with dinner or grabbing a happy hour after work is not unusual for many people. According to the CDC, two-thirds of adult Americans (66%) drink alcohol. Light to moderate alcohol consumption has been proven to do no harm to your health and may even have some benefits. But consuming excessive amounts of liquor and spirits can be detrimental to your health. Did you know it can even possibly lead to gum disease? Your dentist in Waco is here to tell you about the link between alcohol and gum disease and what you can do to keep your smile healthy!
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease occurs when your gums become overrun by harmful oral bacteria and are infected. These bacteria hide out in plaque and tartar, consuming carbs and sugars left in your mouth from the foods that you eat throughout the day. They then release waste in the form of enamel-eroding acid and toxins that are known to cause inflammation and irritation to the gums.
Gum disease has different stages. In its earliest stage, known as gingivitis, the effects can be reversed. As it becomes more advanced, it is in a stage called periodontitis. Your dentist can only manage your symptoms and keep them from becoming worse.
What is the Link Between Alcohol and Gum Disease?
Alcohol affects the health of your gums because it can disrupt the balance of oral microbes, which gives the chance for bad bacteria to grow and cause disease. Scientists at the NYU School of Medicine conducted a study that found an increase in several inflammatory bacteria among those who drank above the daily recommended amount. Similarly, HealthDay News reported a similar study of people who drank more than the suggested daily limit of alcohol. They also had an unhealthy mix of bacteria in their mouths that increased their chances of periodontal disease.
How Can You Prevent Gum Disease?
Fortunately, you have the power to keep your gums as healthy as possible! Here are some tips to ensure you keep your smile healthy and bright:
- Limit your alcohol consumption to equal the CDC daily recommendations (two drinks or less a day for men and one drink or less per day for women)
- Visit your dentist for your bi-yearly checkups and exams
- Maintain a good oral health routine by brushing twice a day for at least two minutes a day and flossing daily
- Don’t put off periodontal treatment if your dentist recommends it
Daily habits affect your physical health in many ways, including your mouth. By being mindful of your alcohol consumption and making your oral health a priority, you are sure to have a healthy smile for years to come!
About the Author
Heart of Texas Smiles keeps Waco’s smiles healthy through the expertise of their three wonderful dentists and their team. They offer patient-first preventive and cosmetic dentistry to maintain the health of your teeth and gums as well as help you get the smile you have always dreamed of. They believe the best way to avoid gum disease is visiting your dentist to keep your teeth smile in its best shape. If you are in need of a checkup or one of their nonsurgical or surgical treatments for gum disease, contact them through their website or by phone at (254) 848-0240.