Most people associate the health risks of excessive drinking with damage to the liver and stomach lining. According to NJToday.com, Delta Dental of New Jersey warns that alcohol abuse is also harmful to oral health.
Delta Dental of New Jersey funds a dental clinic within a social service organization for the poor and homeless, where they have noticed the effects of alcohol abuse during dental exams. One volunteer dentist at the clinic said, "There seems to be a direct correlation to the length of substance abuse and dental decline. It is the norm to find missing teeth, decayed teeth, abscessed teeth, and a serious level of periodontal disease. It is also remarkable to realize the level of dental pain and suffering many of the patients must have had to endure during their years of addiction."
Heavy alcohol consumption puts one at risk for oral caner. Each year in the US, it is estimated that 30,000 new cases of oral cancer will be diagnosed. According to the American Cancer Society, about 70% of oral cancer patients consume alcohol frequently. Smoking in combination with regular alcohol consumption are the primary risk factors for 75% of those with oral cancer.
People with alcohol problems also tend to ignore other healthy habits, like eating properly or taking care of daily hygiene. In 2003, a small study conducted at an alcohol rehabilitation center noticed that residents had a higher incidence of gum disease and cavities. Dentists warn that drinking should be done in moderation.