8 months ago
More bad news for people who routinely drink one or more alcoholic beverages each day: Your mouth might contain an abundance of bad bacteria and a smaller amount of good bacteria, in comparison to those of nondrinkers, according to new research. Having too many harmful bacteria has been known to lead to gum disease, heart problems and even some cancers, CNN reports.
However, having good microbes in our mouths check the growth of harmful germs, and can help lead to better health.
“This is the first comprehensive study of alcohol intake on oral microbiome,” said Jiyoung Ahn, the study’s senior investigator and an epidemiologist at the NYU School of Medicine, to CNN. “Oral microbiome” is the medical term for the colony of bacteria in our mouths. Ahn and her colleagues took a group of 1,044 healthy people between the ages of 55 and 87, most of them white. The group included 270 nondrinkers, 614 moderate drinkers and 160 heavy drinkers. All participants provided spit samples along with detailed information about their eating and drinking habits. The researchers found that drinkers had more Bacteroidales, Actinomyces and Neisseria species of bacteria, all potentially harmful, with some causing periodontal disease and others causing a decrease in beneficial bacteria.