Consumption of Alcohol can affect Periodontal Health: Study

Published Date : Jun 29, 2015

A recent study published in the Journal of Periodontology shows that Brazilian researchers linked the consumption of alcoholic beverages to the negative impact on the health of a person’s gums. Alcohol can increase the risk factors of periodontal disease or aggravate cases of severe periodontal disease. Previous research also shows that poor oral hygiene is not an uncommon trait among alcohol users, thereby spiking a drinker’s risk of developing periodontal disease.

President of the American Academy of Periodontology Joan Otomo Corgel, DDS, MPH, remarks that even though the matter of alcohol consumption and its impact on periodontal health needs more research, the report provides key insight on why patients who enjoy the occasional drink should care for the teeth and gums. 

The study is titled “Alcohol Consumption and Periodontitis: Quantification of Periodontal Pathogens and Cytokines”. Researchers analyzed a sample of 542 non drinkers, occasional drinkers, and regular alcohol drinkers both without and with periodontitis. 

The study found that the condition of a person who consumes alcohol on a regular basis and suffers from periodontitis was correlated with the frequency of the peron’s alcohol use. These individuals, as a result, required additional treatment for periodontal disease. 

Drinkers who did not suffer from periodontitis saw a spiked incidence of bleeding gums when manipulated gently. Drinkers without periodontitis presented an increased presence of plaque compared to the non drinkers. 

Dr Otomo Corgel went on to add that alcohol results in the slowing of saliva production, which enables acids produced by the plaque to be neutralized. Accumulation of these acids can result in the initial stages of periodontal disease. For patients who develop periodontitis, it becomes necessary that they be a hundred per cent honest about their alcohol consumption habits. This vital information could help determine a course of treatment.