Your mouth naturally contains about 700 types of bacteria, some good but others not so much. The mouths of people who routinely drank one or more alcoholic beverages each day contained an overabundance of bad bacteria and a smaller amount of good bacteria than those of nondrinkers, new research has found.
Having too many harmful mouth bacteria is known to lead to gum disease, heart problems and even some cancers. By contrast, good microbes in our mouths check the growth of harmful germs, ultimately paving the way 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. “Oral microbiome” is the medical term for the colony of bacteria in our mouths.
Having recently shown that the types of bacteria found in the mouth can influence the development of oral and upper digestive tract cancers, Ahn and her colleagues decided to investigate what diet and lifestyle factors might shape the oral microbiome.
A group of 1,044 healthy people between the ages of 55 and 87, most of them white, took part in the study. Overall, the group included 270 nondrinkers, 614 moderate drinkers and 160 heavy drinkers.
Ahn and her co-researchers ran laboratory tests to genetically sort and quantify the oral bacteria contained in each person’s sample. The team plotted the results on graphs to better see which bacteria stood out among the drinkers in comparison with nondrinkers.
What did they see? The 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. Compared with nondrinkers, participants who regularly enjoyed a cocktail or two also had fewer Lactobacillales, a family of bacteria known to promote reduction of gum inflammation.
Copyright © 2019 Ghanalive.TV. All Rights Reserved.