To study if an association between total weekly intake of alcohol, type-specific weekly alcohol intake, alcoholic beverage preference, and the number of teeth among older people exists.
A cross-sectional study including a total of 783 community-dwelling men and women aged 65-95 years who were interviewed about alcohol drinking habits and underwent a clinical oral and dental examination. Multiple regression analyses were applied for studying the association between total weekly alcohol consumption, beverage-specific alcohol consumption, beverage preference (defined as the highest intake of one beverage type compared with two other types), and the number of remaining teeth (= 20 versus >20 remaining teeth).
The odds ratio (OR) of having a low number of teeth decreased with the total intake of alcohol in women, with ORs for a low number of teeth of 0.40 [95 percent confidence interval (CI) 0.22-0.76] in women drinking 1-14 drinks per week and 0.34 (95 percent CI 0.16-0.74) in women with an intake of more than 14 drinks per week compared with abstainers. Similar relations could also be obtained for type-specific alcohol intake of wine and for wine and spirits preference among women. Men who preferred beer showed a decreased risk for a low number of teeth compared with men with other alcohol preferences.
In this study, alcohol consumption, wine drinking, and wine and spirits preference among women were associated with a higher number of teeth compared with abstainers. Among men, those who preferred beer also had a higher number of teeth.
Stereotypes about Inuit drinking would have us believe they are much more likely to be users of alcohol compared to other segments of the population. As with many other stereotypes, however, this belief is primarily rooted in fiction and selective observation. As revealed in a number of self-report surveys regarding alcohol use, a smaller proportion of Inuit in the Northwest Territories (NWT) have reported drinking when compared to the non-aboriginal of the territory. The data presented here serve to further confirm the notion of comparatively less prevalent alcohol use among NWT Inuit. Rather than using survey data, however, this paper looks to alcohol use indicators derived from territorial liquor commission mail order invoices to show that the volume of alcohol consumed by Baffin Region Inuit is much less than that of non-Inuit in and outside the territory.