New study finds alcohol can contribute to periodontal disease

In a study recently published in the Journal of Periodontology, researchers found that consuming alcohol can have a negative effect on a person’s periodontal health. The study went on to show that alcohol can both aggravate existing cases of periodontitis, and also increase the risk factors for developing the gum disease.

The study revealed that the severity of an alcohol user’s periodontitis was related to the frequency of their alcohol consumption. Even drinkers without periodontitis show an increase in bleeding of the gums when gently manipulated. Bleeding gums is a common sign of periodontal disease.

Study participants who drank regularly also showed a higher presence of plaque than their non-drinking counterparts. The study researchers noted that the plaque formation could be due to alcohol’s drying effect on the mouth. Plaque, which is a sticky bacterial layer, can trigger inflammation in the gums.

The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) states that brushing and flossing regularly, and undergoing yearly comprehensive periodontal evaluations are important in the prevention of periodontal disease. Additionally, it’s important for patients to be honest with their doctors about their drinking habits when seeking treatment.

For more information about this study, read the full article from the AAP HERE.