There are plenty of reasons to love a satisfying glass of Merlot or a sophisticated Cabernet. From taking the edge off to pouring yourself a glass after a long day of work, a glass of wine is not considered a bad option. Active compounds and antioxidants in red wine have been found to bring many health benefits, including preventing heart disease, improving cholesterol, promoting gum health, and fighting cavities.
Oral Health Benefits of Red Wine
According to studies in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, red wine contains micronutrients called polyphenols that reduce the amount of plaque-causing bacteria that lead to cavities and gum disease. These studies have shown that drinking small amounts of red wine may lead to increased heart health, fighting diabetes and obesity, and better overall health. Research performed by Science Daily also states that the polyphenols may also protect against tooth decay and gum disease. Wine acts as an antioxidant by preventing the bacteria from sticking to the soft tissue of the gums.
Polyphenols For Oral Health
Polyphenols have caffeic and p-coumaric acids that both help with gum disease. Scientific research has shown that caffeic and p-coumaric acids help to fight tooth decay and gum disease by preventing harmful bacteria in the mouth from infecting the cells of the gums. When caffeic and p-coumaric acids are combined with Streptococcus dentisani, a beneficial bacteria probiotic, the oral health benefits can be exponential.
Foods and Beverages that Contain Polyphenols
While beneficial, red wine is an alcoholic beverage and should be consumed in moderation by adults. Rather than attempting to benefit from multiple glasses, try to sip one glass of wine slowly in the evening. Due to its acidity, drinking an excessive amount of wine can actually damage the enamel on your teeth.
In addition to finding polyphenols in red wine, some other foods and beverages can help to reduce your risk of gingivitis, periodontal disease, and cavities. Black and green tea, coffee, cider, and citrus juices can all improve your oral health. Additionally, foods like oranges, blueberries, cherries, and beans contain cavity-fighting properties.
The Negative: Red Wine Can Cause Stains
Many components in red wine have been shown to stain teeth and wear down tooth enamel. In conjunction, red wine also contains:
Harmful acids soften and wear down tooth enamel, which allows fort stains to set in easier.
These compounds contain intense colors and pigments that stick to the enamel of your teeth.
Plant-based compounds called tannins make it much easier for stains to stick to your teeth.
To avoid stains that come from drinking red wine, brushing and flossing are recommended before drinking a glass. Additionally, rinsing your mouth out afterward will help to keep any lingering wine off your teeth. Hinsdale Dentistry also recommends waiting about 30 minutes after your final sip of wine to brush your teeth thoroughly. If you’re concerned over staining, eating food as you drink can also serve as a barrier against acids in red wine, as it can help to stimulate saliva production and naturally wash away stains.
Remember: Everything In Moderation
As with any food or beverage, consuming foods proven to improve oral health should not be a substitute for proper oral care. The fact that polyphenols can help to prevent cavities and gum disease must be taken into consideration with the fact that red wine should be consumed in moderation. In addition to brushing and flossing your teeth on a daily basis, scheduling dental cleanings and exams twice a year will help to keep your teeth healthy and prevent staining. Having your teeth cleaned professionally by Hinsdale Dentistry can also further reduce your chances of developing cavities, gum disease, gingivitis, and periodontal disease.