When compared with nondrinkers, men and women who had one or more alcoholic drinks per day had an overabundance of oral bacteria linked to gum disease, some cancers, and heart disease. Alcohol drinkers also had fewer bacteria known to check the growth of other, harmful germs. These are the main findings of a study published in the journal Microbiome.
The study offers clear evidence that drinking is bad for maintaining a healthy balance of microbes in the mouth and could help explain why drinking, like smoking, leads to bacterial changes already tied to cancer and chronic disease.
Previous studies have examined alcohol consumption and its broad links to disease and some changes in the microbiome, but the new report is the first to directly compare drinking levels and their effects on all oral bacteria.
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