Can Red Wine Protect Your Teeth?

For the past decade, red wine has become somewhat a fad in the research world. Many institutions have developed several studies showing the positive effects it can have on your heart, and colon, claims that have come into question recently. Now, it seems, red wine might also be good for your teeth and gums, due to polyphenols which might positively affect the bacteria in our mouth and gut. Since advanced gum disease can be serious, known to increase your chances of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and cancer, finding new methods for avoiding it can be incredibly beneficial.

The Study

Published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, this study wanted to conduct a closer look at polyphenols found in red wine. Some plants which produce polyphenols have been known to use them to protect themselves against harmful bacteria and other pathogens, so M. Victoria Moreno-Arribas and colleagues tested their ideas using an artificial mouth, studying the effects from a molecular level. Using two particularly red wine polyphenols, and commercially available grape seed and red wine extracts, researchers found interesting results about bacteria that stick to teeth and gums causing tartar.

Can Red Wine Protect the Mouth?

Gum disease and cavities are caused by specific types of bacteria already present within the mouth which can rapidly multiple in the right situations, like when given sugar and simple starch. These bacteria stick to teeth and produce a harmful acidic byproduct which erodes enamel and damages gums. What researchers were looking for specifically, was the ability of polyphenols to disrupt the ability of certain bacteria to stick to cell walls. The results found was that two polyphenols in particular, caffeic and p-coumaric acids, especially when combined with other oral probiotics, were effective at warding off pathogenic bacteria.

How to Protect Your Teeth and Your Gums

Just because one study shows positive results, doesn’t mean you should start using red wine as toothpaste. Several rounds of studies will have to be conducted in order to prove the efficacy of red wine in protecting your mouth. For starters, those concerned about stained teeth should avoid red wine as much as possible, as it contains a large amount of staining agents which can become trapped in our enamel, requiring professional whitening to fix. And it’s acidic, which means that it will damage your enamel and create more places for stains to be trapped. Until more work has been done, the best thing you can do for your mouth is practicing a consistent oral hygiene routine.

The most effective oral hygiene includes brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once a day, and visiting the dentist for a check-up every six months. Brushing with flouride toothpaste will eliminate food sources for pesky bacteria, flossing will do the same in the hard to reach areas, and frequent checkups will ensure that if there is a problem, it can be treated as soon as possible.

Are you looking for a dentist to maintain or restore your oral health in Scripps Ranch or Mira Mesa? Please call or contact us online today for an appointment with Dr. Goshtasbi at Oasis Dental Arts.