When your dentist asks you to “open up and say ahhh,” he or she sees much more than a lot of plaque, a chipped tooth, and a few long-ignored cavities. While the eyes are often referred to as the “windows to the soul,” the mouth could very well be dubbed “the window to your overall health.” In truth, your dentist can pinpoint bad habits—from alcoholism to soda addiction, and diseases—from diabetes to oral cancer—simply by examining your mouth…
If you have an addiction to alcohol, chances are opening your mouth and breathing into your dentists face will be enough convince them that you have a drinking problem. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), there are several ways that a dentist can pinpoint alcoholic patients—starting with the smell of alcohol on the breath and the patient’s telltale ruddy complexion.
In addition, research shows that alcoholics are typically prone to cavities. This is due to excessive dry mouth (from drinking alcohol) as well as acid neutralization in the mouth. According to the NIAAA, those with alcohol problems also tend to neglect proper oral hygiene and don’t maintain a balanced diet.