Red Wine May Prevent Tooth Decay and Fight Gum Disease

In case you were looking for even more benefits of drinking red wine, recent medical research suggests that wine may in fact reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. The discovery suggests that a little wine each day may be good for your colon and heart… but researchers haven’t stopped there! Wine is rich in structurally diverse polyphenols, or antioxidants, which protect the body from the harm caused by free radicals. Now a team of researchers from Spain suggests that wine polyphenols may be good for oral health.

Plants and fruits produce polyphenols which ward off infection by harmful bacteria, thus leading to the investigation to see if wine and grape polyphenols would also protect the teeth and gums. There is indication that they also might promote health by interacting with bacteria in the gut.

Polyphenols to the Rescue!

Polyphenols are nutritional superheroes with many secret weapons, and one of these is their impact on our gut bacteria. Some polyphenols can be absorbed into the small intestine, there to interact with the gut microbiota and fend off some of the bacterial “bad guys” that might threaten our health.

Picking up on this thread, (Moreno-Arribas and colleagues) hypothesized that polyphenols found in red wine and grapes could have a similar, protective effect in the mouth, fending off harmful oral bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease.

(Source: Medical News Today)

Is Wine the New Oral Probiotic?

The researchers examined the effect of two red wine polyphenols as well as commercially available grape seed and red wine extracts on bacteria that stick to teeth and gums and cause dental plaque, cavities, and periodontal disease.

Working with cells that model gum tissue, they found that the two wine polyphenols in isolation – caffeic and p-coumaric acids – were generally better than the total wine extracts at cutting back on the bacteria’s ability to stick to the cells. Combined with Streptococcus dentisani, which is believed to be an oral probiotic, the polyphenols were even better at fending off the pathogenic bacteria.

(Source: Dentistry Today)

Skip the Guilt

So go ahead, pour yourself a glass of red wine tonight, knowing there are many health benefits. However, don’t overdue it, because it is an alcoholic beveridge and too much alcohol is not good for anybody. Be cautious also, as it can stain the enamel of your teeth. Dr. James Reisman and Dr. Jordana Contrucci encourage patients to brush and floss daily and see your dentist at least twice a year. It’s important to stay on top of your oral health, as well as, your overall well-being.