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Dry January: Are you doing more harm than good?

If you saw The Guardian yesterday morning you may well have taken note of a thought provoking report, which assessed the true value of quick fixes and detox diets like Dry January. Though primarily focused on weight loss, the report stressed a noteworthy point in that campaigns, like Dry January, may make us feel better during the 31 one days we abstain from alcohol, but for the long term may actually do more harm than good. 

Here at Illume we couldn’t agree more, particularly when it comes to fine tuning drinking habits. Although in full support of the meaning behind Dry January and its aim to quell alcohol indulgence, it serves little purpose if come February 1st all participants drink to excess to make up for those ‘lost weekends’. 

Aside from smoking, drinking alcohol is the second largest risk factor for mouth cancer. In fact, a recent Cancer Research Study found that around a third of cancers of the mouth and throat were caused by drinking alcohol – which increases dramatically for those that smoke at the same time.

In addition to its cancer causing qualities, alcohol can affect both your teeth and overall oral health. Aside from the fact some alcoholic drinks can be full of sugar, particularly if you opt for a spirit and mixer like Vodka and Cranberry Juice, alcohol is extremely acidic, which can cause long lasting damage to your teeth.

Practice Owner and Clinical Director, Tim Rumney, explains: “When consuming drinks that are extremely acidic, such as the nation’s new favourite, prosecco (sorry ladies), the enamel on the surface of our teeth starts to soften and dissolve. As a result the tooth underneath becomes prone to pain, sensitivity and decay.”

“With that in mind I encourage everyone who has participated in Dry January 2016 to think about how changing your drinking habits for the long term could really improve your oral health as well as your overall well-being.

Here at Illume the benefits of our membership last all year round. For more information or to book an appointment please contact the practice directly on 01242 522230.