We are always reminded by them humorous detergent commercials showing the red wine stains on clothing and wondering what effects wine has on our teeth. Wine can be very acidic and may contain staining agents as well as residuals sugars that may damage our teeth. Many people switched to drinking white wine because of the association with red wine and staining but recent research has actually found different findings.
Most of the bacteria that damage our teeth are called streptococcus and they live in our mouths feeding on the sugars in our diet. It usually sticks to the enamel and triggers a process called demineralization, where holes are formed through the acid released from the bacteria. Scientists found an active ingredient called proanthocyanidins which are compounds found in grape skins and they block these bacteria from sticking to the enamel. Other studies showed that polyphenols fight off diseases of periodontitis which affect the gums and bones in the mouth. These compounds were also found in cranberries and they help prevent plaque and cavities.
The only downside to this finding is that wine and both cranberries and the products containing these also contain a lot of sugars which can be bad for the teeth. Clinical testing are trying to find ways of adding these benefits to toothpastes and mouthwash without the sugars. So don’t be afraid to sip on the favorite cocktail and drink that red wine.
Further reading: How many calories are in wine?