Alcohol Abuse Screenings at the Dentist

Health experts have warned that people who consume alcohol excessively are exposed to an extremely high risk of developing dental disease and mouth cancer.

Experts have also noted that in order to be able to keep things under control, treatment and constant screenings for alcohol abuse is extremely important. The published paper has been called “Alcohol misuse: screening and treatment in primary dental care”.

The study has also brought to light the fact that people generally do not visit their doctor (GP), unless they are extremely ill. On the other hand, people generally respect their regular dental visits, and therefore dentists are the professionals mostly suited to test patients for alcohol abuse issues.

If health professionals would start asking a few standard questions regarding the patient’s alcoholism problem, it would be much easier to help the patient fight against these issues.

Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Jonathan Shepherd clearly points out that people struggling with excessive alcohol consumption can develop cancer of the mouth, esophagus and larynx. The dental professionals may actually be the first who can discover these health complications.

There should be introduced an alcohol screening device which is extremely reliable and which can detect alcoholism, and then suggest the right path for treatment.

The paper notes that today in the UK approximately 1 in 5 men and 1 in 7 women are drinking excessively. If dental professionals would be the first to suggest the patient the importance of moderation in drinking, both the health and economic implications linked to excessive alcohol consumption could be considerably reduced.

Professor Shepherd further reveals that one of the main responsibilities of the dentist is to promote overall good health.

They are not only responsible for dental health promotion, but also for helping the patient fight off bad habits that lead to severe oral health complications, or to severe damages in any other major organ of the body.

The Government and the dentists should join their forces and provide proper screenings and treatments before it is not too late for the patient.