How Red Wine Affects the Teeth
If you have been avoiding red wine because you are afraid it might stain your teeth, now may be time to rethink your stance. A recent study published in the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” found that red wine might help protect against dental disease. Although the wine was found to have little or no effect on the bacteria associated with S. mutans, the bacteria linked to tooth decay, it was found to be effective in reducing the levels of other microbes, including F. nucleatum and S. oralis, which affect periodontal health.
The study evaluated red wine with and without alcohol and five strains of oral microbes: Streptococcus mutans, Fusobacterium nucleatum, Streptococcus oralis, Actinomyces oris, and Veillonella dispar. Red wine’s antimicrobial effect was similar to that of stronger antimicrobials, such as chlorhexidine solution, and both the alcoholic and the dealcoholized wines were similarly effective.
While red wine did appear to be helpful at limiting the growth of these potentially damaging microbes in the laboratory. In practice, it may not be as effective. Researchers noted that patients may need to swish with wine for two minutes several times a day for at least a week to see similar benefits. Due to the acidity of red wine, this could have damaging effects on the enamel of your teeth. It might also allow the growth of opportunistic bacteria or create bacterial imbalances.
The ADA currently recommends brushing twice a day with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste, and flossing or using an interdental cleaner at least daily. Eat a balanced diet with limited snacks, and visit us regularly for professional cleanings and checkups. You don’t need to avoid wine, but you may want to limit it to reduce the risk of damage. If you notice staining, tooth whitening can help you restore their natural color. Call us today to find out more or to schedule your appointment with Dr. Frame.
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