A recent study published in the ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry gives wine enthusiasts another great reason to pour it up: red wine could actually help prevent cavities, tooth decay and gum disease.
According to a redding.com article, cavities, periodontal disease and subsequent tooth loss affect anywhere from 60 to 90% of people around the world. They are normally caused by bacteria in the mouth that form biofilms on the teeth, then turn into plaque. Plaque produces acid, which eats away at the teeth, eventually leading to decay if untreated.
M. Victoria Moreno-Arribas and a team of colleagues decided to test the power of commercially-available red and white wines against plaque, according to redding.com. Both red and white wine were shown to have antibacterial properties against the development of caries and sore throats. Grape seed extract shared similar antibacterial properties.
“When it comes to the battle against plaque and tooth decay, every weapon you can use to your advantage is a good one,” says Dr. Charles Botbol, DDS of Studio B Dental.
According to redding.com, the naturally-occuring chemical compounds in wine responsible for killing plaque-causing bacteria were succinic, malic, lactic, tartaric, citric and acetic acid.
And while white wine is technically as effective at killing bacteria in the mouth as red wine, white wine also has a higher acid content, which can eat away at tooth enamel and ultimately harm teeth more than help them, according to medicaldaily.com.
So the next time you think about drinking a glass of sugar-laden soda or juice, opt for a glass or two of red wine — your teeth will thank you for it.