Is alcohol harmful to your dental health?

Let us be clear from the outset: yes, alcohol is harmful to dental healthas it is for health in general, without palliatives. But what is the specific problem? In a study in the scientific journal Microbiome, published in 2018The oral microbiota of a group of regular hard alcohol drinkers was analysed and contrasted with that of a group of non-hard alcohol drinkers, with the result that regular drinkers (many of whom were directly affected by alcoholism) had higher numbers of oral bacteria in their mouths, which increased the risk of multiple diseases, including several types of oral cancer.

However, in a study published in 2016 by Alas Peruanas University, no relationship was found between weekly, monthly or annual alcohol consumption and the formation of dental caries, as some articles on the web link it to the acidity that alcoholic beverages create in the mouth.

Scientific journals and studies, in a somewhat more rigorous way, tend to link habits that are harmful to general health, such as alcohol consumption, with a greater propensity for poor dental hygiene, which is undoubtedly a determining factor in the formation of caries and other pathologies.

This study, published in EnglishIn the United States, for example, it found that 70.6% of patients under treatment for alcoholism suffered from severe dental plaque build-up despite claiming to brush their teeth at least once a day.

Alcoholism and unhealthy habits in general could therefore be linked to low dental visits, poor oral hygiene and so on, rather than a direct link between alcohol consumption and caries proliferation, as some dental blogs report without citing any consistent source.

What has been well demonstrated is the relationship between alcohol and several types of oral cancer, as well as, of course, many other diseases and cancers related to the rest of the body. Therefore, like any health professional, at our dental clinic we urge you to limit alcohol consumption to the minimum possible, not replacing it socially with sugary or carbonated drinks, but rather with those that have already demonstrated their beneficial effects on the body, such as herbal teas, tea or, of course, water.