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Smokers and drinkers 'more likely to have oral health problems'

March 30, 2012

Severe gum disease appears to be more common in people who consume alcohol and smoke.

People who smoke or regularly consume alcohol are more likely to have problems with their oral health, experts have warned.

Scientists in Brazil examined 542 people, aged 35 to 55 years, in order to investigate the links between alcohol consumption and poor oral health.

Publishing their findings in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, they revealed that severe gum disease was more common among alcohol users and that the problem was particularly noticeable among people who smoked.

Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, said that almost one-fifth of people involved in the study had severe gum disease.

"The crucial thing to remember is with a good oral hygiene routine, dental problems can be prevented and kept at bay," the expert revealed.

"Developing a good routine and sticking to it will also help to stave off a whole range of health problems, so there is no excuse for poor oral hygiene."

Figures from the 2010 Adult Dental Health Survey suggest that just 31 per cent of people use mouthwash, while only 22 per cent use dental floss.

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