Dry January & Your Oral Health
Even More Reasons To Cut Down On The Demon Booze!
Everybody does something different for their New Year’s resolutions depending on their main vice or goal.
For some, food is the enemy which means certain food groups get cut out, or eating less altogether is on the cards. For others, they want to reduce their impact on the environment and so reducing single use plastic or doing Veganuary is ideal. Dry January though, where you don’t drink for a whole month, is by far the most popular New Year’s Resolution venture in the UK.
Alcohol & Your Body
14.2 million people were set to do Dry January in the UK this year, which is an amazing number of people making the effort to improve their lives in the way they feel they need to. There are many different reasons why people choose to ditch the alcohol for a whole month, including:
- Wanting a detox after drinking a lot in December
- Wanting to feel healthier overall
- Seeking a challenge
- Hoping to avoid hangovers that may have been affecting their life
- Looking to drop a few pounds
- Hoping to save money
Every single reason is valid for the individual and Abbey Road Dental commends anyone looking to reach personal goals.
For the health of your body, cutting down or quitting alcohol is likely to be beneficial, especially if you consume a lot of alcohol regularly. Just some of the known effects of drinking on the body include:
Drinking regularly can have negative effects on your natural sleep cycle, making you feel tired on a day to day basis. Drinking alcohol can make you fall asleep quickly, but you may spend more time in REM (Rapid Eye Movement) than in deep sleep, so the quality of the sleep is lower. Alcohol is a diuretic as well so you could be getting up to go to the toilet more than you would like. You may also struggle with snoring and even sleep apnea as alcohol relaxes the throat muscles.
High Sugar Content
Alcohol is packed full of sugar and those who consume alcohol regularly may be more at risk of issues like diabetes. Weight gain caused by consuming too much sugar could then create a risk of obesity related illnesses like heart disease.
Alcohol creates irritation in the digestive system and even a small amount causes the stomach to create more acid. This can cause lots of issues like acid reflux and stomach pain, but in the heaviest of drinkers it can cause bleeding from the stomach. Drinking too much alcohol is also known to increase your risk of lots of cancers, including cancer of the stomach and colon.
Blood Pressure Issues
Alcohol consumed in excess, regularly, can contribute towards high blood pressure which then puts you at risk of additional problems because of the strain on your major organs.
Alcohol & Diseases
Alcoholism is linked to several different conditions and diseases including; pancreatitis, bowel cancer, liver disease, breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease and oral cancer.
Excessive alcohol consumption can be incredibly damaging to your body.
Alcohol & Your Oral Health
If you are participating in Dry January maybe all the potential health risks above have been core to your reasoning behind your sobriety. With potential problems like heart disease running through your mind, you may not have your oral health at the forefront of why you are quitting drinking. You may not have even know how alcohol affects your smile negatively. Here at your NW8 dental clinic, we believe that the more you know, the more informed a decision you will be able to make.
Read on to have even more reason to stay off the booze this month:
- Alcohol is known to be a core risk factor for oral cancer and signs can be ulcers that won’t heal, or unusual white patches. Regular dental checkups at Abbey Road Dental can ensure mouth cancer symptoms are checked.
- Dental erosion can come from excessive drinking because of the high acid content in alcohol.
- Dental decay can be caused by the huge amount of sugar in alcohol, and in some instances, because of lack of oral care caused by prioritising drinking over general hygiene.
- Alcohol is known to increase the risk of violence and the potential for conflict, which puts alcohol drinkers at a higher risk of dental trauma.
How To Ensure Dry January Is Even More Successful
If you’re still not drinking, well done! It can be so hard to stay off the alcohol when you are around others enjoying it. Social drinking can be just as enjoyable sober once you get used to not searching for the familiar woozy feeling alcohol gives you, and once you get used to going out to socialise and not just to drink. However, it can be tricky to continue for the whole month if you’re not careful. To help you move further towards success, why not try:
- Treating yourself to a cosmetic dentistry treatment at Abbey Road Dental such as teeth whitening, so you have a strong reason to abstain from alcohol that could ruin your smile.
- Write down how quitting alcohol has benefitted you so much so far.
- Have your reasons for quitting written on a huge whiteboard or piece of paper and have it somewhere you can see it easily.
- If alcohol has had a negative effect on your personal life, perhaps you could speak to those affected to give you more reason to stay sober.
- Seek support if alcohol is a real problem for you and you want to abstain long term. Drink Aware, NHS Alcohol Awareness and your GP will be able to point you in the direction of further support.
Keep Going To Your Oral Health Checkups For Healthy Teeth Throughout Dry January And Beyond
By attending checkups with your St John’s Wood dentist, you can be sure that any signs of oral cancer (which alcohol puts you at a higher risk of) are spotted early. We can then refer you to your GP for further assessment quickly. We can also help with any past or present negative effects on your smile caused by regular drinking. We are not here to judge, and we can form a vital part in the success of your Dry January by helping to keep your smile beautiful. Because let’s face it, succeeding in such an amazing goal like sobriety for a whole month is definitely something to smile about!
Please call our team on 02076241603 and we will be more than happy to book you an appointment at a time to suit you.