Each year, people everywhere pledge to go on a ‘Dry January’ – which means completely abstaining from alcohol for the entire month. The campaign is run by Alcohol Change UK, and has grown massively in popularity over recent years.
Research published in the British Medical Journal demonstrated that after completing a month of abstinence participants saw an improvement in weight, blood pressure and reduction of cancer-related proteins.
Another noticeable difference is an improved sense of smell and taste. The reason for this? The same thing that makes you drunk also affects these senses – that’s ethanol! The body turns it into a substance called acetaldehyde that can damage cells and affect your senses. The less you drink, the more effectively your liver works to fight this toxin.
What else happens after Dry January? The benefits continue to stack up! Part of the reason why people join in is that it makes you even healthier and can have some positive effects on your dental health too.
Unfortunately most alcoholic drinks contain lots of sugar – cocktails, prosecco, spirits, even a single glass of wine is the equivalent of eating a whole doughnut! The bacteria in your mouth interacts with sugar and begins to produce acid which attacks the enamel of your teeth. Giving up on alcohol for a while means you immediately cut out the sweet substance from your diet and ensures your teeth remain sugar free!
Protecting tooth enamel
The effects of alcohol on tooth enamel (and therefore teeth) reduce significantly. Dehydration from consuming large amounts of liquor can have a profound impact on your saliva production by minimising its ability to neutralize damaging oral bacteria. One month without boozing will lead to a noticeable improvement in the condition of your choppers and the best news is that if you decide to stay away from the occasional bottle you can reap the benefits year on year!
Reducing the risk of oral cancer
Did you know that drinking alcohol to excess is also linked to one in three mouth cancers? Most people think smoking is the biggest contributor to cancer, but alcohol plays a role in this too as the close mouth-to-throat contact can present a number of issues, including tumors developing in the upper throat (Pharyngeal cancer), the food pipe (Oesophageal cancer) and the voice box (Laryngeal cancer). So, cutting down on the booze will do you a massive favour in the long run.
Stay clean, stay healthy!
There’s nothing but positive effects of Dry January for your teeth, and it’s well worth giving up alcohol for an entire month to see them all!
Here at Ten Dental, we understand the importance of maintaining oral health, providing industry leading dental care and treatments to new and existing patients across London.