Alcoholic beverages are a common way to celebrate the holiday season. Are a fan of wine, beer, or cocktails (or perhaps all of the above)? If you have ever wondered how your adult beverage of choice could be affecting your dental health, we can enlighten you with a fun true-or-false quiz on the ways in which alcohol can impact your gums and teeth.
Q1. True or false – Only 50 percent of people who abuse alcohol have moderate to severe gum disease, and some degree of decay.
Q2. True or false – Oral cancer has no reported relationship to alcohol consumption.
Q3. True or false – Dry mouth is a side effect of alcohol consumption. It can also contribute to tooth decay and gum disease.
A1. FALSE – Only about 7.4 % of the population in America are heavy alcohol users or alcoholics. Among that statistic, however, 80% of them have dental health issues (including periodontal disease and tooth decay) related to their alcohol consumption.
A2. FALSE – The ethanol in alcohol is naturally irritating to the tissues in your mouth. This can cause cellular DNA damage to happen. The result of this is a greater risk for oral/pharyngeal cancer. Oral cancer screenings are a part of regular biannual dental exams. Catching oral cancer early is essential in the fight to survive a malignancy. Out of the 30,000 people diagnosed with oral cancer each year, around 8,000 lose their valiant battle.
A3. TRUE – Alcohol can reduce salivary production. Dry mouth is the name of the condition which occurs when you have insufficient output from your salivary glands. Saliva is an essential natural oral hygiene tool which we may not give much thought to. However, without proper salivary production, you will not have the benefit of regular rinsing away of food particles before they have a chance to mix with bacteria and create plaque. Ample saliva inside your mouth can mean the difference between healthy teeth or cavities.
ABOUT YOUR MANSFIELD DENTISTS:
Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris of Mansfield Dental Associates rely upon their years of experience, training, and cutting-edge technology to offer patients expert dental care at each and every visit. They listen to each patient’s concerns and offer gentle, informative guidance about future treatments. If you would like to schedule a consultation, call (817) 473-6227. Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris proudly treat patients from Mansfield, South Arlington, Kennedale, Southeast Ft. Worth, Alvarado, Midlothian and neighboring areas.