Men and women are advised by the NHS to not consume more than 14 units of alcohol per week on a regular basis. It is recommended that you spread your alcohol consumption over 3 or more days if you regularly drink up to 14 units a week. If you want to reduce your alcohol intake, try to go several days without drinking each week. This is equivalent to about 6 medium glasses of wine (175 ml) or 6 pints of 4% beer.
To keep health risks low, it's safer not to drink more than 14 units per week. The National Alcohol Strategy (2001) highlighted the importance of helping people make healthier choices. Research has shown that informing patients of the health risks associated with alcohol consumption, as well as providing tips for reducing it, can be effective in reducing alcohol intake (2). This chapter will discuss the magnitude of the problem and summarize the links between alcohol and oral health. The characteristics of alcohol dependence are usually evident over a period of at least 12 months, but the diagnosis can be made if alcohol consumption is continuous (daily or almost daily) for at least one month (20). The new alcohol unit guidelines are equivalent to six pints of medium-strength beer or six 175-ml glasses of medium-strength wine.
Alcohol has a wide range of health impacts, including cardiovascular disease, cancers (breast, intestine, throat and mouth), and drinking during pregnancy can cause long-term harm to the baby (. The risk of harming your baby is likely to be low if you only drank small amounts of alcohol before you knew you were pregnant or during pregnancy. It is important to remember recent alcohol-related health messages for those who knew and didn't know that new guidelines on low-risk alcohol consumption had been published. Nicotine changes the way the brain responds to alcohol, which means that more alcohol is needed before people have the same well-being response as a person who doesn't smoke after a couple of drinks. In addition to the general health benefits, there is also some evidence that patients with periodontal disease may benefit from reducing alcohol consumption (Chapter.
If you're worried that you or someone you care about has an alcohol problem, there's a lot of help available. If drinking alcohol has become a problem, explore the option of referring you to a service specializing in alcohol addiction or to a family doctor. The NHS recommends that adults who drink up to 14 units per week should distribute them evenly over 3 days or more in order to keep health risks low.