Alcohol and Oral Health

Alcohol is a risk factor for oral and other cancers, cardiovascular disease, liver cirrhosis and trauma. The risk of oral cancer is six times higher in those who drink alcohol compared to non-drinkers. Alcohol is the primary cause of liver cancer and is also a risk factor for breast cancer and colorectal cancer.

Alcohol Alcohol is absorbed from the stomach into the blood stream and affects the central nervous system. Alcohol is a depressant and for some people can give rise to violent and irrational behaviour. Excessive alcohol consumption leads to liver damage, alcohol dependency, memory loss, cardiovascular disease, stomach ulcers, impotence, low birth weight babies, impaired motor skills, skin damage and early ageing.

Effects of Alcohol on your Oral Health

Mouth Head and Neck Cancer 

The risk of oral and pharyngeal cancers tends to increase with the amount of alcohol consumed and binge drinking – more than 5 standard drinks in one session – seriously increases the harmful effects of alcohol to the body.

Tooth Erosion

Alcohol, especially when mixed with soft fizzy drinks can lead to tooth erosion due to increased levels of acid in the mouth.

Tooth Trauma

Excessive alcohol is one of the main risk factors for violent behaviour leading to truama to the face/teeth. Additionally accidential tripping and falling can cause face and tooth trauma.

A standard drink in Ireland contains about 10 grams of pure alcohol. For adults, the recommended upper limits for alcohol intake are:

Up to 11 standard drinks per week for women (112 grams of pure alcohol) and up to 17 standard drinks per week for men (168 grams of pure alcohol).

Use this drinks calculator to find out how your drinking affects your health, wallet and weight. Check out how alcohol affects your health and wellbeing: and