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Dry January: Alcohol and the mouth

13th January 2021 by

What is Dry January?

Dry January is the UK’s one-month alcohol-free challenge that helps millions reset their relationship with alcohol every year.

Taking part in Dry January is a chance to ditch the hangover, reduce the waistline, boost your energy/sleep and save some money, while doing your body a lot of good. Not only this, but you’ll be looking after your oral health too.

How does Alcohol affect the mouth?

Mouth Cancer

Mouth Cancer

Excessive alcohol is one of the main risk factors that can cause mouth cancer. Smoking and alcohol together greatly increases the risk. Check for ulcers that have not healed within 3 weeks and unusual red or white patches.

Excessive alcohol is one of the main risk factors that can cause mouth cancer. Smoking and alcohol together greatly increases the risk. Check for ulcers that have not healed within 3 weeks and unusual red or white patches.

The Faculty of Dental Surgery explains:

Increased risk of oral cancer is one of the most important effects of high alcohol consumption, particularly when combined with other unhealthy behaviours. It has been estimated those who drink and smoke heavily have 38 times the risk of developing oral cancer

Tooth Erosion

Excessive alcohol especially mixed with fizzy drinks can lead to increased levels of acid in the mouth. This can lead to your teeth dissolving (tooth erosion). This can cause sensitive and weakened teeth. Also, a lot of fizzy drinks have high sugar content which leads to tooth decay. Its both the acid and the sugar you need to be wary about. Good oral hygiene and brushing routines will help keep any unwanted dental appointments at bay. You can read more here

Stained teeth

Red wine and drinks such as coca cola, often used as a mixers, can stain your teeth. The best drink to have for our teeth, and overall health, is water.

Trauma

Trauma case

Excessive alcohol consumption is one of the main risk factors in causing violent behaviour or domestic abuse. This can result in trauma to the face and teeth. Alcohol can also increase the risk of falling or being involved in an accident when people are intoxicated.

[Composite bonding by Dr Stewart Beggs]

Your mouth will be as grateful as your Liver!

Why not run Dry January in your workplace?

Getting the whole team involved in Dry January is a great opportunity. So much can come from the team taking a month off booze together:

  • More energy leading to better performance at work.
  • Reduced absenteeism and lost productivity from alcohol, which are estimated to cost businesses £7.3bn each year.
  • Social ties between employees that aren’t based around just drinking.
  • A greater understanding of your legal responsibilities as an employer.
  • Plus, you can raise money for Alcohol Change UK.

Don’t forget to book your check-up at Bow Lane Dental, where our award-winning dentists perform an 8-step oral screening to check for mouth cancer as part of your check up exam. You can book your check-up here.

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