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The saddest thing about consuming alcohol is the fact that it is addictive in nature. Consumption of alcohol gives a person a temporary high and makes him or her feel good about themselves and the world around. This makes him or her take to it as often as they can (this is all the way truer for people when they are sad).
However, consumption of alcohol is very harmful for the body. Even if we ignore the addictive nature of the same, the short and long-term effects of the same on the body cannot be ignored.
All of us are well aware of the fact that consumption of alcohol is injurious to health. The moment we talk about health effects of alcohol, what comes to our mind is that of the liver.
Medically speaking, the liver is just one of the many organs that is affected by the consumption of alcohol. The effect of alcohol on oral health is something that has always been ignored.
This article aims to throw some light on that and talk about how consumption of alcohol will affect the bacterial balance in your mouth and thereby result in long term damage to your overall health and well being.
Here's all you need to know:
1. Heavy drinkers
2. The imbalance
3. The impact
4. Types of alcohol
5. Better oral hygiene
1. Heavy Drinkers
Before we begin, it is important to realize that the effect of alcohol consumption that we are going to discuss here is only applicable in case of heavy drinkers. Having a drink once in a while will not impact the bacterial balance that we are going to discuss soon.
If you are someone who is used to this, there is not really much to be bothered about. According to medical science, men who have more than two drinks a day may be classified as heavy drinkers. Similarly, for the fairer sex, the value stands at more than one drink a day.
Thus, if you consume alcohol more than the specified limits, it is time that you should be alarmed about the same and take preventive measures.
2. The Imbalance
The human mouth is such that there is a certain quantity of good bacteria and a certain number of bad bacteria. This community of microorganisms in the mouth is known as microbiome. The consumption of alcohol by a heavy drinker results in an imbalance in the microbiome.
This type of bacterial imbalance is usually abrupt and results in a sudden increase in the inflammatory bacteria. These include bacteroidales, actinomyces and Neisseria bacteria. At the same time, good bacteria like Lactobacillales get diminished as a result of heavy drinking.
Lactobacillus is an immunity-boosting bacteria and is said to keep a number of ailments at bay. In fact, due to this reason lactobacillales is an essential component of almost all probiotic food supplements available in the market today.
The sudden decrease in the lactobacillales is not a healthy sign. The body is not equipped to deal with the same and as a consequence, it results in a sudden surge of a wide array of diseases in the person.
3. The Impact
This type of change to the bacterial proportion is seen to be a major factor in the development of oral cancer. In some extreme cases, it may also cause the development of cancer in the upper digestive tract. This would include oral cavity cancer, esophagus cancer and pancreas cancer.
All the afore-mentioned forms of cancer can prove to be fatal. Other than cancer, a host of periodontal diseases, head and neck issues may also arise from the same. In case of men over the age of 50, this type of oral imbalance may even trigger the occurrence of diabetes.
Thus, one of the easiest ways to ensure a better longevity would be by keeping a tab on your alcohol consumption and ensuring that the good bacteria thrive in your mouth.
4. Types Of Alcohol
Among the heavy drinkers, there are different types of alcohol that people consume on a daily basis. This may range from wine, beer, gin and vodka to hundreds of other types of liquor. In fact, even among heavy drinkers consuming a type of alcohol, there may be hundreds of different variety and brands.
As per the research carried out among people of diverse age groups, it was seen that any form of alcoholic beverage does the same amount of harm to the oral health. Thus, if you are consuming alcohol in any form, you will actually be doing equal harm to your body. It is the quantity of alcohol that you are consuming that matters, not the type or genre.
5. Better Oral Hygiene
Having understood the gravity of the situation, it is important for heavy drinkers to take better care of their oral health. However, there has been no significant correlation between maintaining better oral hygiene and tackling this bacterial imbalance.
Thus, if you really care about your oral health, you will want to keep the good bacteria in your mouth. Also, care should be taken to ensure that the population of bad bacteria in the mouth does not increase significantly.
For that to happen, the only way out would be for you to quit alcohol. Thus, now that you have one more reason to give up on alcohol, you should really walk that extra mile in an effort to improve your oral hygiene.