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Drinking and Oral Health: Alcohol Resistant Bacteria

A man looks in his bathroom mirror as he brushes his teeth.
Even if you brush and floss, alcohol use can still affect your oral health.

Just like your gut, your mouth contains both good and bad bacteria.

And new research has found that people who commonly drink every day have more bad bacteria and less good bacteria.

The study, which was published in the science journal Microbiome, examined the impact of alcohol on 1,044 adults ages 55 through 87. The group was comprised of 270 nondrinkers, 614 moderate drinkers and 160 heavy drinkers.

Participants were asked to provide spit samples which were analyzed by researchers. Specifically, the study found that drinkers had more Bacteroidales, Actinomyces and Neisseria species of bacteria, all of which are potentially harmful. Drinkers also had fewer Lactobacillales, a type of bacteria that reduces gum inflammation.

Even worse, alcohol consumption is a known risk factor for multiple types of cancer, liver disease and cardiovascular disease.

Does Alcohol Kill Bacteria?

It’s a myth that drinking alcohol can improve your health in terms of killing bacteria. As the study indicated, alcohol can indeed affect bacteria, but not in a positive way.

Think of your body’s bacteria as a living thing with a delicate balance of good and bad bacteria. Alcohol throws that balance off in a way that is potentially damaging to good oral health.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment at The Raleigh House

Heavy alcohol use doesn’t just affect oral health; it can also be detrimental to your mental and overall health. Once you can’t control your alcohol use, despite negative consequences, it’s time to seek help.

At The Raleigh House in Denver, Colorado, we take a whole-person approach to recovery. That means we don’t just get the alcohol out of your system. We work with you to help you recover psychologically, mentally, spiritually and socially, as well. Rehab isn’t just about giving something up; it’s about getting your life back. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about the alcohol addiction treatment program at The Raleigh House.

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