Excessive drinking poses a big problem for your health and your life, but it can also cause truly awful issues, like bad breath. It’s science.
Gizmodo reports on a recent study from New York University that suggests over-drinking fills your mouth with harmful bacteria and even cancerogenous agents. The study examined spit samples in more than a thousand people between the ages of 55 and 84. These volunteers also provided their eating and drinking habits, allowing scientists to chart out the bacterial community of every participant’s mouth.
On average, the more people drank, the higher the amount of bacteria they possessed in their mouths, particularly bacteria that belongs to clans associated with gum disease — a known cause of bad breath. The subjects who drank more alcohol also possessed a lower amount of Lactobacillales, a bacteria that’s generally associated with healthy mouths. Drinkers also had higher levels of the genus Neisseria, which is known to produce aceltadehyde (a cancerogenous agent) when paired with alcohol.
According to the scientists, this is the largest and most comprehensive study conducted on mouth health, and more research is necessary to draw more conclusive results. The study also suggests that alcohol might affect the bacteria in your mouth directly by killing off immune cells, damaging teeth and changing your saliva’s composition.
While the results are not conclusive, alcohol as a cause of bad breath is certainly a significant entry onto the list of bad things that can happen when you drink too much. It’s not dangerous, but it’ll definitely make you think twice the next time you want to go crazy at the bar. And if you do, there are a few things that can help you counteract the bad smell, such as cannabis mints like Kiva’s Petra Mints and Vive’s Mini Tabs. While the relief they provide is temporary, it’s better to be high and smell good than to be drunk and smell awful.