Most people may not know that their mouth contains about 700 different types of bacteria. Some are good for us while others not so much. However, according to a new study, which the journal Microbiome recently published, people who drink one or two alcoholic drinks each day have a lot more bad bacteria in their mouths and a lot less good bacteria. The problem is that a larger amount of bad bacteria in the mouth can lead to gum disease, certain types of cancer and even heart disease. Meanwhile, good bacteria prevent harmful microbes from evolving and maintain a good health of the entire body.
According to Jiyoung Ahn, the senior investigator of this study, this is the first research of this kind, which deals with the impact of alcohol on the health of the mouth. Ahn and her colleagues wanted to find out more about how diet and lifestyle actually influence the oral microbiome. So, in order to discover this, they asked 1,044 healthy people to help them with an experiment. They were between 55 and 87, and most of them were white.
Drinkers have more bad bacteria in their mouths, which can be dangerous
It seems that 270 of the people were nondrinkers, 160 were heavy drinkers, while 614 were moderate drinkers. The experiment was actually a spit test. Then, the team of experts analyzed the samples and quantified the bacteria that each person had in the saliva sample.
This is how they managed to find out that, in comparison with nondrinkers, heavy drinkers had more bad bacteria in their mouths. This is yet another reason to worry about heavy alcohol intake, apart from the fact that it can cause chronic diseases, liver disease and even cancer. However, the researchers are saying that they need to research more to find out if this is also true for casual drinkers, in comparison to nondrinkers.
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