At our Tigard family dentistry, we can appreciate how good a nice cold glass of white wine or rose may taste during this unusually warm and smokey Oregon summer.
That’s why the results of a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Adelaide has use a little bummed.
In the study, researchers found evidence that the acid in white wine and rose can make teeth more susceptible to enamel erosion within several minutes after drinking the beverage.
While this may come as a slight inconvenience to those of us who only enjoy the occasional glass of white wine, for many within Oregon’s wine industry this could be far more problematic. In fact, this discovery has further prompted calls for individuals working professionally as tasters within the wine industry to take additional precautions to protect their teeth.
The study found that just 10 one-minute periods of tasting wine is enough to cause erosion of tooth enamel, a process commonly referred to as acid wear. Teeth affected by the acid become vulnerable to excessive wear in just a few minutes after drinking wine.
The results of this study were published in the Australian Dental Journal.
An Unsuspected Risk
In many cases, winemakers and professional tasters sample anywhere between 10 to 150 wines per day, and wine judges taste between 100 and 200 wines per day during competitions.
Based on these findings, researchers worry that individuals working professionally in the wine tasting industry are at an increased risk of suffering from the effects of tooth decay.
Researchers believe the results of this study reinforce the need for individuals working in the industry to take early preventative measures, and to work closely with their dentist in or to minimize the risk to their oral health.
Fortunately, many within in the wine industry already take preventative measures to protect the health their teeth. The application of remineralizing agents like fluoride and phosphate are often applied to the teeth the night before many big wine competitions by judges to act as a barrier against white wine acids.
Risk to Casual Wine Lovers
While most people don’t taste the high quantities of wine judges and other wine professionals do, the acidity of white wine can still present a problem to recreational drinkers. Fortunately, you can offset some of the risk presented by the high acidity in white wine by following these tips:
Only drink wine with food. When you eat, your mouth increases saliva production to help breakdown and wash away food particles. Saliva also acts as a neutralizing agent to oral acids. By only drinking wine during a meal, you can protect the health of your teeth by neutralizing and washing away wine white acid from the surface of teeth with the increased flow of saliva.
Don’t brush right after drinking white wine. While you might think that brushing immediately after drinking white wine will help to remove acid from the surface of your teeth before any erosion can occur, you actually increase the risk of damaging tooth enamel. Drinking beverages high in acid like white wine, fruit juice or soda cause tooth enamel to become weakened. Brushing immediately after drinking acidic beverages is like putting pressure on hot wax. The surface of your teeth are much more malleable and require a “cooling” off period to once again become firm.
Practice quality oral hygiene. The healthier the state of your smile, the more difficult it will be for acidic beverages to negatively impact tooth enamel. Fluoride, which is commonly found in mouthwash and toothpaste, helps to strengthen enamel, making it more difficult to damage. By brushing and flossing daily, you can strengthen your teeth so that no damage is done when you enjoy a glass of wine.
Don’t let poor oral health ruin your enjoyment of white wine and other beverages with high acidity. Schedule your next appointment at our Tigard family dentistry by calling 503-968-2901 or click here.