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Surgeon. 2011 Oct;9(5):278-83. doi: 10.1016/j.surge.2011.01.010. Epub 2011 Feb 22.

A review of the relationship between alcohol and oral cancer.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Oral Medicine and Oral Pathology, Dublin Dental University Hospital, Lincoln Place, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland.


This paper aims to review the current literature regarding the association between alcohol consumption and oral cancer. The authors have discussed the constituents of alcohol-containing beverages, the metabolism of ethanol and its effect on the oral microflora. The local and systemic carcinogenic effects of alcohol have been detailed. The beneficial effects of alcohol consumption on general health have also been considered. A possible relationship between alcohol-containing mouthrinses and oral cancer has been suggested in the literature. The authors conclude that this relationship has not yet been firmly established. However, the use of alcohol-containing mouthrinses in high-risk populations should be restricted, pending the outcome of further research.

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