A study says heavy drink causes a greater level of harmful bacteria than good bacteria. According to the latest research, consuming alcohol disturbs the natural balance of good and bad bacteria in our mouth that leads to several diseases. In fact, research has shown that the changes in oral microbes can cause several diseases.
In a study published in the Microbiome journal on 23rd April 2018, NYU School of Medicine’s scientists stated that regular alcohol drinkers tend to have a disturbing combination of oral microbes. This can cause several oral problems, gum infection and even more serious diseases like cardiovascular disease or cancer.
According to JiyoungAhn, Ph.D., senior research investigator, the composition of oral microbes gets disrupted in the heavy alcohol drinkers’ bodies. The good bacteria get replaced by several inflammatory bacteria. Heavy-drinking causes several risks and one must avoid heavy-drinking to maintain a healthy oral microbiome, he added. Women having more than one drink per day and men having more than two drinks per day are marked as heavy drinkers in this study.
Good V/S Bad Bacteria:
Human mouth contains more than 700 species of bacteria and some species of fungi. Our several health factors, immunity system, digestion and even cancer prevention to some extent are managed by these micro-organisms.
The heavy drinkers lack good bacteria like Lactobacillales (found in probiotic foods) which helps to prevent sickness. On the other hand, they get higher levels of harmful bacteria like Bacteroidales, Actinomyces, Neisseria etc.
According to Ahn, they found in their prior research that how oral bacteria composition influences oral and upper digestive tract cancers (oral cavity, esophagus and pancreas cancers). Heavy-drinking disrupts the normal bacteria composition that leads to the heart disease, periodontal disease as well as head and neck cancer.
Ahn and her team studied over various mouthwash samples and alcohol-consumption data of 1044 adults, aged between 55-87 years, involved in two ongoing cancer studies. The researchers carried on an extensive study of oral bacteria and compared the microbe composition among 270 persons who are non-drinkers, selected around 160 persons who are over heavy-drinkers, and finally conducted the study among 614 persons who were considered as moderate-drinkers. The current research was, however, unable to mark the differences in oral health among beer, wine, and other liquor drinks.
“Potentially Significant” Finding:
He didn’t give any accurate statement whether better oral hygiene maintenance can help drinkers to maintain a healthier oral bacteria composition or not. Till now the research couldn’t find out if any changes in the microbiome can increase healthy oral bacteria levels in drinkers, similar to the non-drinkers, or not.
According to Ronald Burakoff, a well known name in the field of dental research, the researchers has done an impressive discovery about how changing the oral flora affects your health and immunity, though till now they don’t know how to increase the good bacteria content to develop health.
Researchers recommend drinking very less alcohol, or better not at all as this damages health. Also, he agrees with this study.