EVEN IF YOU only enjoy an occasional glass of wine, it’s important to know how it can affect your gum health. A recent study published in the Journal of Periodontology brings new light to the connection between alcohol consumption and gum disease.
And believe it or not, gum disease can have a significant affect on your orthodontic treatment.
Over 500 study participants were asked about their drinking habits, and their gum and overall oral health was evaluated on several levels. This revealed a surprisingly close relationship between alcohol and gum disease risk.
While further research is needed to evaluate the precise reason for this connection, it seems to be greatly due to dry mouth, a common effect of alcohol consumption. Saliva neutralizes acid in the mouth, and serves to cleanse our mouths from harmful bacteria. Alcohol decreases saliva production, and can strip our mouths of the protection they need.
Gum disease is the #1 cause of tooth loss in adults. 50 percent of those over 30 are affected by some level of gum disease. The good news is that in its early stages, gum disease is reversible with strategic oral care. This is especially important for orthodontic patients.
In general, periodontal disease should be addressed before moving any teeth. However, in some cases, applying orthodontic treatment sooner can help to alleviate gum problems!
Each individual situation is different, and by getting to know your unique dental profile, we can develop the optimal treatment plan for you.
Here’s our advice to you: be aware of the risks that alcohol poses to your oral health, especially if you enjoy an occasional (or not-so-occasional) drink. Be upfront with us about your habits, and we can help give you the most effective care and advice to preserve your healthy smile for life.