Can Red Wine Prevent Cavities and Gum Disease?
Do you enjoy a fine cabernet sauvignon or pinot noir after a long day but worry about the health impact it can have on your teeth? Well, perhaps you don’t have to worry as much as you thought, at least when it comes to red wine causing tooth decay and gingivitis. Recent studies and researchers claim that the polyphenols found in most red wines can actually help prevent bacteria from making a home on your teeth? It’s true! Let’s take a more in-depth look at red wine and your teeth.
When it comes to the health of your teeth, the very last thing you want to encourage is bacteria sticking around. Bacteria can cause a whole host of unfortunate teeth problems, from plaque to gum disease and even cavities. Unfortunately, some bacteria are also healthy enough to penetrate a film our mouths automatically create, called biofilm.
Thankfully (and great news for you if you’re a red wine lover) new studies are saying, time and time again that the polyphenols found in red wines help deter bacteria from sticking to your teeth. Also, the grape seed extracts, also found in red wines, have also been found to lower the chances of decay-causing bacteria to thrive in your mouth.
A study conducted by Dr. Moreno-Arribas and her team of experts found interesting links between your mouth, teeth, biofilm and red wine. Essentially, her team found that when isolated, wine polyphenols decreased the bacteria’s ability to stick to our teeth! Part of the reasoning behind this could be that, when we ingest red wine, the polyphenols stick to our teeth and kick-start the digestion process. During the digestion process, our mouths create an oral probiotic called Streptococcus Dentisani, which helps protect our teeth and mouths from bacteria.
Looking into the Future
Although this research wasn’t conducted on real people, scientists are feeling good about what they’ve found so far. It almost seems as if the polyphenols in red wine make the bacteria less sticky and therefore, unable to stay on our teeth like it usually would if you did not consume the beverage. Thus far, the evidence is stable and does suggest a link between red wine, the oral probiotics that usually keep our teeth clean and forcing bacteria to back off. There is more research planned soon to further study this phenomenon and to understand it more.
What This Means for You
So, you’re probably thinking to yourself: so how much red wine can I have since it is, in fact, good for my teeth? Of course, this is a natural response, especially if you’re already an avid drinker of red wine. That being said, there is no clear answer yet. More research needs to be done, and more scientific conclusions need to be made.
Also, I should mention that the American Dental Association has deemed red wine, along with tea a coffee, are known to stain your teeth so you might need to talk to your dentist about teeth whitening. In addition to fighting off bacteria, red wine has also been linked to offer protection from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases.
Of course, as with anything sweet and delicious, moderation, moderation, moderation. The research doesn’t conclude that excess amounts of red wine are solutions for cavities and gum disease; for that, you’ll always need the usual daily care of brushing and flossing. So, go home, kick off those shoes, and enjoy a glass of red wine!