In addition to being detrimental to general health, alcohol and tobacco have many adverse effects on oral health.
Alcohol and tobacco are two of the most significant single risk factors for oral cancer, and their combined use multiplies said risk.
Poor oral hygiene combined with smoking and heavy alcohol use increases the acetaldehyde production of microbes in the mouth. Acetaldehyde is the main metabolite in alcohol and has been classified by the WHO as a carcinogenic substance (1).
In addition to alcohol and tobacco, acetaldehyde may be produced by microbes in the digestive tract and released into saliva and gastric acid. Poor oral hygiene increases the local formation of acetaldehyde in the oral cavity. Through proper oral hygiene and the treatment of gingivitis, microbial levels in the mouth can be decreased, thereby reducing the formation of acetaldehyde.