Alcohol Awareness Month

Studies have shown that a glass of red wine a day is good for your heart. However, over-indulgence can lead to liver disease, dementia, depression, tooth decay, gum disease, and certain types of cancer. April is not only Oral Cancer Awareness Month, but it is also Alcohol Awareness Month.

Alcohol contains sugars and acids, which, combined with the natural bacteria in the mouth, attack and break down the hard tissues of teeth. People who consume large quantities of alcohol daily, or are alcoholics, tend to lose focus of their oral health.  They become prone to tooth decay, gum disease, and losing teeth.  Additionally, heavy drinking irritates the tissues inside the mouth. Research also indicates that excessive consumption of alcohol raises the risk of cancer of the mouth, larynx, esophagus, liver, colon, and breasts.

Like smoking, alcohol dries your mouth by decreasing the production of saliva and increasing the risk of decay.  Saliva helps balance the pH levels in your mouth and washes away excess sugars. When salivary glands dry out, your mouth becomes more acidic and allows more bacteria to grow and attach to teeth and gums.  You should brush and floss soon after drinking to remove any plaque and sugars from alcohol consumption. If possible, rinse your mouth with water between each alcoholic beverage.

During their six-month dental checkup and cleaning, dentists are often the first healthcare professionals to detect alcohol abuse in their patients. I’m Dr. Randy LaFrom, a San Jose and Cupertino dentist, and I want to assist you in maintaining a healthy mouth for a lifetime. If it is time for your six-month visit as recommended by the American Dental Association, contact my family dentist office in Cupertino at (408)996-8595 to schedule an appointment. I proudly care for residents of San Jose, Cupertino, and surrounding areas.  Remain aware of the effect alcohol has on your oral and overall health!

~ by cupertinodentist on April 15, 2011.

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