Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Is Red Wine Good for your Teeth?

            We have heard in the past that red wine can be good for heart health. Some research has shown that reservatrol, a chemical found in red wine, can be potentially beneficial for those with heart disease. However, the amount of reservatrol needed was so large that obtaining its desired benefits through red wine was nearly impossible. There is a new study from universities in Madrid and Zurich that suggests drinking wine could lead to stronger teeth, healthier gums, and fewer cavities. They believe there are compounds found in red wine that could have an antimicrobial effect that kills damaging bacteria. But before you start drinking too much, let’s take a closer look at some of the potential implications.
            The first concern I have with being reliant on red wine to help your teeth stay healthy is how little data there is to support it. A few studies over only a few years can be very short sighted and miss some of the long term effects. At this point, instead of thinking red wine is good for your teeth, I would feel more comfortable saying red wine isn’t bad for your teeth.
            Red wine, along with a few other beverages like coffee and tea, can lead to staining or darkening of your teeth. However, this staining does not put you at higher risk for tooth decay. Sometimes we are able to clean all of the stains during a routine dental exam and cleaning, but over time it may more permanently stain the teeth. Using whitening toothpaste may help limit the stains, but professional teeth bleaching can help keep the teeth white.
            At this point, it is a little too soon to say that drinking red wine will lead to fewer trips to the dentist. While there are some potential positive effects, I would still recommend doing all of the usual home care methods of brushing, flossing and rinsing to limit your trips to the dentist.

For more information, visit us at www.brownandkupper.com.

Lee T. Brown, DDS
Brown and Kupper, DDS Inc.


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