• 26 JAN 18

    Oral health and early alcohol consumption

    In a recent study published in in the Journal of Adolescent Health, it was revealed that as many as one in six parents had allowed their children to drink alcohol before the age of 14. What’s more, in a survey of over 100,000 children around 14 per cent admitted to having drunk alcohol when they were only 11.

    As we know, gum disease and dental decay are risks associated with alcohol consumption, conditions that can be exacerbated in children’s still-developing bodies. Early alcohol consumption can also pave the way for bad alcohol habits in later life, which may ultimately cause more serious health issues in the future; the risk of oral cancer, for example, is approximately six times higher in those that drink compared to non-drinkers.

    However, many parents believe that by letting their children drink alcohol when they are young will teach them how to drink responsibly – but the research seems to suggest that there is no actual evidence to support this claim. Indeed, almost all research showns that hose who start drinking early are more likely to do badly at school, have behaviour issues, and develop alcohol problems in adulthood. And this, in turn, often leads to complications with their oral and general health.

    This is further exacerbated in the UK by the well-known deficits in children’s oral healthcare, as well as the general lack of education surrounding the importance of maintaining a good oral health routine from a young age, and the current concerns around sugar consumption and its effects on children’s oral health.

    Separately, these problems are enough for the dental profession to compete with, but combined they have become almost insurmountable. If the trend continues, and children begin drink alcohol at an increasingly early age, the problems will eventually become overwhelming for the professional health community – and we will likely see the dire consequences in the next generation of patients.

    As with other children’s oral health issues, the best way to reduce the risk of alcohol related complications in younger people, is to support parents through education and advice. By making them aware of the potential problems allowing their children to drink may cause, they will be better able to adapt their behaviour. It is also important to address their own habits during their own routine check ups, to ensure that they do not set a bad example for their children through their own behaviour.

    The best way for us to move forward is to encourage our patients to take their oral health into their own hands. Only in this way can we make a significant difference. Of course, as we all recognise, we too need support to be able to do this, but we can make the first steps now, and easily. So we should talk to patients, discuss these issues openly and honestly and be prepared to offer our advice and expertise when it is needed. That way, we can address issues early on. With alcohol consumption and children’s oral health, certainly, early can make all the difference.

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Patient Testimonials

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you and Mr. Sultan for the excellent patient care I received last week. My reluctance to proceed with the surgical treatment was apparent, but with your advice and reassurance, I am sure that I made the right decision. The procedure, though ...

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Just to say thanks for the coffees & friendly, supportive chats. You certainly helped to take the edge off a stressful time for us.

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Rod & Sue Witheridge
Thank you so much for looking after our nanny Noelia! Thank you also for offering her such a generous discount for your excellent treatment. She asked me to pass on her thanks also. With best wishes.

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Quentin McCoach
This is just to thank you for the root-canal treatment which you carried out on my tooth last Tuesday afternoon. All has now settled down and I can chew on the tooth as normal. I think that we both had a tough ninety minutes last Tuesday but for me it ...

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David Thomson
Just a quick but BIG thank you all for making what was a frightening and miserable procedure into an experience I could hanle. If there had been more people like you all, I would have a much healthier mouth. It was a pleasure meeting you and your kindness is much ...

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Georgia F
Thankyou so much for once again saving a difficult tooth!!  Another thankyou is due to you for your gift to my daughter of the recipe book written by your aunt. Noelle returned to Dubai with the book firmly tucked under her arm. She returns in July for the summer and ...

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Sheila Ferris
Thank you for treating my dental pain, it was a great relief! Thank you also for the care I received while visiting your practice.

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Fraser Gray
Thank you very much for the wonderful work you did for me. I can smile again!

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Zita Drew

Our Clinic Locations


Harley Street Root Canal Clinic
99 Harley Street

Contact this Clinic:
Call us: 0207 224 0999
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Richmond Root Canal Clinic
4-6 George Street
Surrey TW9 1JY

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Call us: 0208 912 1340
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  • Root Canal Treatment

    You may require root canal treatment if you have pain or swelling associalted with your teeth.

  • Root Canal Re-Treatment

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    Using the latest surgical techniques we help save teeth even if root canal treatment is not possible.