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Red Wine Could Be Good for... Your Teeth?

Red Wine Could Be Good for... Your Teeth?

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Those heart-healthy polyphenols may have a special effect on keeping teeth and gums in shape, too.

But if you've ever spent time brushing the wine-stains off your teeth, you may be surprised to read that it's apparently also good for dental hygiene. A report published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, suggests that polyphenols found in red wine in particular can actually help regulate your oral health.

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Polyphenols are basically antioxidants, meaning they help protect the body from harmful free-radicals that cause inflammation. It's those magical polyphenols in red wine that help your body stay in tip top shape.

The team of scientists behind the study wanted to know if the natural and grape-based polyphenols found in wine could do more than aid inflammation. Using grape seeds and red wine extracts, the scientists tested red wine as an agent against bacteria often found on teeth and gums. They were hoping to see the wine reduce plaque build up, cavities, and other oral diseases.

Using cells that are very similar to natural gum tissue, the scientists did indeed find that two particular polyphenols—caffeic and p-coumaric acid—were effective at stopping common bacteria from sticking onto the gum itself.

"The results highlighted the antiadhesive capacity of [the polyphenols]," the report says. When combined with oral probiotics, the team also found that the polyphenols were even better at blocking bacteria within your mouth.

While the report isn't clear on why exactly polyphenols are able to stop bacteria from collecting on your teeth and gums, their findings are just another reason to enjoy red wine. It could be keeping your mouth cleaner—though you still have to brush.

7 Tricks To Keep Red Wine From Staining Your Teeth

The weekend has arrived—which, if past experience holds true, means the clinking of wine glasses may be in your near future. Also in your future: the unsightly result of purple-tinged teeth after your third glass of Pinot Noir (along with a strong urge to find a karaoke bar and start singing "Like A Virgin"). The latter we can’t help with, but we can intervene with your wine-teeth predicament.

Ahead, seven tricks to keep your pearly whites pearly and white—even in the face of one of its greatest foes. So you can smile back at the charming stranger across the room without scaring them off. Cheers!

Read on to learn our top seven fail-safe tricks to avoid wine-stained teeth.

Is The Acid In Wine Bad For Your Teeth?

Maybe you’ve seen it, maybe you haven’t—the clinically somber commercial where the “dentist” talks about the effects of acid erosion on your teeth, complete with a too-huge X-ray showing the lonely shadows where enamel used to be. The culprits: acidic drinks. Things like OJ, soda, and yes, wine.

Actually, if you look up “causes of acid erosion on teeth,” there are a lot more potential culprits—and some commercially interested parties (ahem, Pronamel) are more than happy to let you know that anything from black olives to probiotic yogurt to barley (yes, barley) can cause acid erosion. Since we can’t possibly cut barley and olives from our lives at the same time, or dishonor Jamie Lee Curtis by avoiding probiotic yogurt, we’ll tackle wine first.

If you’ve been drinking wine for even a little while, you probably know every glass has some level of acidity. It’s one of the key components of a wine integral, in the right proportion, to creating a balanced product. Any combination of tartaric, malic, lactic, citric, acetic, and succinic acids will contribute to a wine’s final body and acidity, though tartaric and malic account for the majority of acidity in a wine (and malic acid can be converted into smoother lactic acid by way of malolactic fermentation). But whether you’re drinking a super dry Vinho Verde or an inky purple Cabernet, there’s acid in the glass.

36 Gifts and Gadgets For Anyone Who Loves Drinks

That acid, unfortunately, likes to eat away at enamel, a calcified, mineral-rich substance that basically forms a thin shell covering the teeth. Despite the fact that enamel is actually “the hardest tissue in the human body,” it’s still susceptible to erosion. Under normal (non-erosion circumstances) the pH in your mouth should be between 6.2 to 7. Erosion, or “enamel demineralization,” starts when that level falls below 5.7. Most wines have a pH between 2.9 and 3.5, give or take, meaning a swig of red or white wine can plummet your pH and erode enamel. Once gone, as our depressing dentist likes to remind us, our enamel isn’t coming back (and yes, Adele will probably write a song about it).

There is some good news. Some wines are better than others: lower acid wines, clearly, and also still wines. Carbonation actually increases acidity, so anything from carbonated water to soda (even diet) to, alas, Champagne will be harsher on your teeth than a still drink. And unless you’re a professional taster, chances are you’re not holding wine in your mouth for any significant amount of time—though, to be fair, even casual wine drinkers aren’t knocking the stuff back like Jaeger. Your best bet is to sip water between sips of wine, not necessary on a one-to-one ratio, but intermittently. This’ll wash away some of the wine and also dilute the acidity level in your mouth, bringing the pH back up to non-erosive levels. (Hooray!)

As for brushing your teeth, do it—but just like swimming, wait an hour after you’ve had a glass of wine before you brush your teeth. Not that you’ll get a cramp (does that really happen?) but you shouldn’t just go straight from Cabernet to Crest. Your enamel may have been softened and your bristles and/or drunken brushing technique won’t do it any favors. Drink some water, wait patiently, maybe floss.

In truth, at the end of the day, erosion seems to be a fact of life. Or a life lived, anyway. Anything from swimming (exposure to chlorine) to eating large amounts of barley—and who can stop me?—can lead to some enamel loss. If you want to keep drinking wine, that’s fine. Just keep drinking water and brushing regularly, as well as getting calcium and maybe avoiding Warheads Extreme Sours, which, while a delicious and thrilling candy, apparently have a pH level comparable to battery acid.

Preventing Red Wine Teeth Stains

Red wine is a tasty mix of natural dyes, acids, and tannin, three ingredients that work together to etch and stain your teeth. The shockingly red wine teeth you see in your mouth after a marathon of zinfandel tasting is mostly a coating of dyed saliva, but there can be some long-term dulling effects from a chronic diet of dark, acidic wines.

The acids in the wine can actually effect the enamel on your teeth–one of the reasons it is not recommended to brush immediately after drinking wine. The softened teeth can be eroded by your vigorous hygiene, so you should rinse–and wait a bit–before scrubbing those purple teeth. This is actually true of white wines too, but without the deep color it is a less obvious issue. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to drink some water after a wine sipping marathon to purge the acids from your mouth. The tips below will help you increase your resistance to red wine teeth stains.

The picture above isn't flattering, it's classic red wine teeth.

Tips on Preventing Red Wine Teeth Stains

Red wine teeth stains can be a badge of honor for the social over-drinker, but sometimes we want to keep our pearly whites pearly white…at least until after the group photos.

Drink Sparkling Water

This is my favorite recommendation. Don’t let your mouth dry out. Saliva is the tooth’s bodyguard and it will jump in front of those purple bullets. The more saliva, the better. When it’s time for photos, drink some sparkling water to rinse the purple Snuggie off your teeth. It’s not going to be a cure-all for red wine teeth stains but it’ll certainly reduce the effect. The carbonation will lightly scrub the wine away before it has a chance to set in a stain.

Skip the White Wine

This is a real bummer. Acidic white wine is like sanding and laying a primer before applying a red wine coat of paint. The more acidic the white wine, the more potential damage it can do to your teeth. The acid in wine can erode tooth enamel, stripping the protective coating and etching micro channels in your teeth. This creates a porous canvas for pigmentation to stick onto.

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Brush Your Teeth Before Drinking Wine

Red wine loves to sticks onto plaque. Make sure that your teeth are clean, consider brushing them an hour or so before heading off on a wine drinking binge. Pro Tip: If you brush your teeth right before drinking wine, it will have an adverse affect on your palate… You’ll find the wine won’t be pleasant.

Fortify your teeth

Eat foods that naturally build stronger teeth. Calcium from milks, cheeses and fortified cereals. Vitamin D from fish, eggs or UV enriched mushrooms. Vitamin C from strawberries, cauliflower, and cranberries.

High Fiber Food Pairing

It’s a fun idea. Basically eat high fiber foods and chew away your red wine teeth stains. The fiber acts as a brush and scrubs away the stain, cleaning away the dry saliva. Mix this with the sparkling water plan for maximum effect. Maybe a spinach salad would make the perfect pairing with your next bottle of wine?

Eat More Cheese

… or any protein to build up the calcium in your teeth. Yup, that’s going to be a lot of cheese, but I believe in you! Have you noticed that your teeth get purple much more quickly if you are drinking without eating? Pro Tip: Hard cheeses have more calcium and are generally healthier for your teeth than soft cheeses. Also, eating hard cheeses with wine acts as a polish and fill, closing micro pores in your teeth, making them slightly more stain resistant. Think of it as waxing your teeth the wine just beads up and rolls off. (dramatization, but you get the idea.)

Beware of Teeth Whitening

This can actually make your teeth more susceptible to red wine staining. Teeth whitening strips enamel off your teeth creating a porous surface for stains to stick onto, similar to what white wine does above. This is a cumulative effect, so everytime you whiten your teeth you make it that much easier to stain them. It’s an epidemic and if you’re not careful all of your teeth are going to deteriorate into grey gummy bears and fall out of your mouth. (another dramatization.. don’t judge me)

Red Wine Damages Enamel, Stains

Until recently, the research into red wine suggested that while it may be good for your heart, it was bad for your teeth. This is thanks to a highly acidic pH and the staining powers of the strongly pigmented drink. Enamel is the strong outer layer that protects your teeth from all the potentially damaging things that go in and out of your mouth. Damage to your enamel opens your mouth up to cavities.

Unfortunately, acid is one of the most effective weapons against your enamel. (That’s why the bacteria that cause cavities produce acid in order to get through your enamel and attack the inner parts of your teeth.) Weakened enamel makes it much easier for staining agents to get into teeth and cause discoloration. On the pH scale, lower numbers indicate higher acidity. Red wine generally ranges from a pH of 2.5 to 4.5, which makes them more acidic than coffee, but less acidic than white wine.

Red wine is so red because it contains chromogens, which are highly pigmented particles. These particles can make their way through the pores on your enamel (weakened by acids) and make those pearly whites a little less white with every sip.

6. Avoid White Wine

It seems counter-intuitive. How could white wine cause the staining of your teeth? It turns out that the higher acidity of most white wines will strip the natural protection of your teeth and make them more susceptible to staining by red wine and other foods. If you’re not ready to give up white wine entirely, at least avoid drinking white wine immediately before red, and use the other tips mentioned here to help rid your mouth of those acids when drinking white wine, as well.

Is Drinking Wine Bad for Your Teeth?

There’s been a popular belief surrounding red wine and its benefits to heart health floating around for years. We even found an article suggesting that drinking a glass of red wine a day has the same type of benefits as spending an hour at the gym. But we’re not here to debunk or support any of these claims. Instead, our dental office in Austin is here to talk about whether or not drinking wine is bad for your teeth.

Varying Opinions

Some online sources are passionately claiming that red wine can be good for oral health. At the same time, there are others telling us that drinking red wine can have detrimental effects on our teeth. So who’s right? Is drinking red wine really great for our smiles, or really bad? Let’s take a look.

The Claim: Drinking Wine is Good For Oral Health

A study published by the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry supports the idea that red wine can decrease tooth decay. In their research, scientists tested the biofilm of several participants. The biofilm was loaded with bacteria that’s naturally found in the mouth. After exposing the biofilm and bacteria to red wine, researchers observed that the wine removed the bacteria. And with no bacteria, there’s little risk for decay and cavities.

The Claim: Drinking Wine is Bad for Teeth

Wine, both red and white, is highly acidic. This acid can deteriorate tooth enamel and cause teeth to look yellow. Without protective enamel, teeth are also at risk for bacteria and decay. Even though your dentist in Austin has solutions to fix all these problems, it’s best to avoid them in the first place.

The Conclusion

Essentially, more research on the effects that wine has on oral health is needed before we can say the benefits outweigh the concerns. However, it’s safe to say that any risks associated with drinking wine, including risks to your oral health, can be minimized by drinking it in moderation and responsibly. To further protect your smile from any negative side effects of wine, consider:

  • Drinking water after drinking wine. Water helps neutralize acid and wash it away. It’s even better if you can rinse your mouth out.
  • Not brushing right after enjoying a glass. Brushing your teeth too soon can spread the acid expose your entire mouth to its damaging effects.

Whether you enjoy your nightly glass of wine or partake only occasionally, keep an eye on your teeth. If you notice any discoloration, call our Austin dental office to talk about professional smile whitening or cosmetic dentistry. Of course, we’re always welcoming new patients would happy to see you no matter what your dental needs may be.

Drinking red wine can improve oral hygiene, study claims

It might not be as far fetched as it sounds, as a new study has revealed drinking red wine actually offers a number of health benefits that extend far beyond the mere feel-good factor.

After analysing the effect of polyphenols, the antioxidants found in red wine, Spanish chemists found that exposure to such compounds can help prevent bacteria from sticking to the gums that would normally lead to cavities and plaque.


Scientists from the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid examined the oral health benefits of two types of red wine polyphenols: caffeic and p-coumaric acid, both of which are also found in coffee and cranberry juice.

Both were successful in preventing potentially harmful microbes from sticking to the gums which could lead to gum disease and tooth decay.

Published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the scientists said the effect was stronger when the polyphenols were combined with the oral probiotic streptococcus dentisani bacteria.

Despite the promising findings, the study’s authors were quick to warn that we shouldn’t jump to starting our day with a gargle of Merlot quite yet, as the chemicals analysed in the study were far higher in concentration than those found in wine.

Instead, they advise using the molecules in red wine in preventative medicines that would help curb oral diseases.


Exposure would also need to be fairly extensive in order to really see the benefits, given that exposure to the polyphenols in the experiment lasted for up to 47 hours.

You might think you like red wine, but even the most hardcore of fans would struggle to keep the grape-based drink in their mouths for that long.

Plus, as Dr Gunter Kuhnle, a nutrition professor at the University of Reading, pointed out, the two compounds identified in the study are much more abundant in other foods, such as berries.

“This is interesting work done on cells outside of the body, but it is very preliminary and so one must be very cautious about extrapolating these results to any current health advice,” added Naveed Sattar, a professor in metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow.

“The findings suggest some compounds called phenols should be investigated further for their roles in preventing bacteria binding to cells and causing infection, but this needs much validation.”

Can Red Wine Be Good For Your Teeth? Oral Health News From BurbankGeneral Dentist

It might stain your teeth, but red wine could offer oral health benefits that will give wine lovers something to smile about!

A recent study suggests that polyphenols (micronutrients with antioxidant properties) found in red wine are effective in fighting three types of bacteria that are the main culprits for causing dental plaque, tooth decay and gum disease.

The researchers involved in the study tested polyphenols from grape seeds, red wine extracts and red wine itself against tooth decay causing bacteria. Though all three reduced the harmful oral bacteria’s ability to attach to cells to some degree, the red wine polyphenols (caffeic acid and p-coumaric acid) were the most effective. Simply put, these polyphenols can provide great oral health benefits by preventing harmful bacteria from clinging to saliva, teeth and gums.

Further research needs to be conducted to determine how these polyphenols caused the bacteria to be hampered, and how these findings could lead to new dental treatments. And though polyphenols found in red wine might provide oral health benefits, the other properties of wine (such as its acidity and sugar content, two of the greatest contributors to tooth decay) means that swishing with it regularly and for prolonged periods of time would be counterproductive, besides also resulting in a nicely stained smile! And of course, red wine is still an alcoholic beverage and should always be consumed in moderation.

A Genius New Product Lets You Drink Red Wine While Protecting Your Teeth

The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Simplemost may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.

Red wine. The one alcoholic drink you can really feel good about drinking, because hey, it’s good for your health!

All the health benefits of red wine aside, there is that one downfall: dingy, red-tinged teeth.

Thankfully someone who was sick of suffering from the same problem came up with a genius product as a solution.

Let us introduce you to Wino Sippers, wine glasses crafted with built-in straws that stem from the bottom of the glass (so you’ll be sure to get every last drop while protecting your teeth from that direct hit of stain-inducing wine). Sure, you could always pop a bendy straw in your wine glass, but this solution is much classier.

Plus, the Wino Sipper glass features a three-point base, making it a tad sturdier than your average stemware. (Your carpet will thank you for this feature.)

According to the Wino Sipper’s website, each glass can hold up to five ounces, and the glasses are sold in a pack of two because naturally, “Winos stick together.”

You can get these gems on Amazon for $26.99 for a pair, plus free shipping.

Want to see the glasses in action? We thought so. Here’s a fun video explaining just how brilliant the Wino Sippers really are.

So let’s raise a glass or two to Wino Sippers, which will no doubt help us enjoy our favorite antioxidant-rich beverage in style.

Pair these with this “Brita” for red wine that’s meant to help reduce the risk of a hangover, and you’ll be all set. And, in case you need any more motivation to pour yourself a glass, there’s research that shows drinking red wine can help you lose weight.

The Definitive *Truth* About Red Wine Health Benefits

Raise your hand if you&aposve justified a hefty pour of merlot on a Monday night with the words: "But red wine is good for you!" Honestly, same.

Regardless of whether you&aposre a total wino who knows the difference between the base notes of cabernet and pinot noir or just enjoy pouring yourself a glass after a long day, you can probably attest to how great a good glass of vino really is. (It&aposs no wonder that ancient Greeks used to overindulge in the good stuff, and millennials are following suit, apparently.)

And you&aposve probably told yourself that choosing red wine over white is taking the booze "high-road" in the name of your health-but is red wine good for you, really? Well, kind of, but it&aposs not quite that simple. Read on so you never have to second guess that one glass of red wine again.

The Red Wine Benefits

1. It cuts your risk of disease. Red wine contains resveratrol, which is basically the magic elixir that gives red wine its benefits. It&aposs been tied to a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and dementia.

2. It&aposs good for your skin. Reservatrol can also slow the growth of acne-causing bacteria and may also give you glowing skin. (Hello, girls&apos night and buh-bye breakouts!)

3. It helps you chill out. Reservatrol also stimulates the release of the stress-response protein PARP-1, which activates genes that are responsible for repairing DNA and promoting longevity. (If you prefer the green stuff, consider this red wine made with THC.)

4. It strengthens those pearly whites. While a glass of red wine may temporarily turn your teeth (and tongue and lips) a little purple, it actually has some healthy mouth benefits. Red wine contains polyphenols, which studies show help keep harmful bacteria from attaching to teeth.

5. It can aid in digestion. All those polyphenols are actually pretty hard to digest. This sounds like a bad thing, but a Spanish study found that they actually feed the good bacteria in your gut.

6. It might improve your fertility. A study out of Washington University in St. Louisਏound that drinking red wine might boost your fertility�use it&aposs been linked to an increased number of eggs in your ovarian reserve.

7. It could help you lose weight. Just listen to the positive results from these studies: one from Washington State University shows that resveratrol helps transform "white fat" into "beige fat," the latter of which is easier to burn. Another by Harvard University looked at 20,000 women over the course of 13 years and found that those who drank two glasses of wine daily were 70 percent less likely to be overweight. Plus, other research found that resveratrol also helps suppress your appetite. Bam. (Keep reading: Does Red Wine Help You Lose Weight?)

8. It could even boost your workout performance. Say what?! Really-two studies have shown that resveratrol may mimic exercise in the body and boost workout performance (see, told you it was magic). However, the studies were done on rats, not humans, and they show that it takes a lot more resveratrol than you&aposll find in one glass of wine to reap the benefits. In one glass of red wine, there are only about 0.29 to 1.89 milligrams per 5 fluid ounces (a serving), says Lauren Schmitt, registered dietitian, certified personal trainer, and owner of Healthy Eating and Training Inc. This is much less than 146+ milligrams used in the study. Which means, yeah, you&aposd have to get pretty smashed on syrah before seeing any performance improvements (and your intoxication and the subsequent hangover would probably negate all that anyway).

The Catch: Is Red Wine Good for You, Really?

To reap some of the benefits of red wine, you have to drink a lot, and heavy drinking comes with a ton of downsides, like an increased risk of breast cancer, serious repercussions for your brain health,ਊndਊ decreased chance of crushing your weight loss and fitness goals. Not to mention, alcohol use disorder (a.k.a. alcoholism) is on the rise among young women, and the number of young adults dying from alcohol-driven liver disease and਌irrhosis has been increasing at an alarming rate.

So, yes, red wine does have some benefitsਊnd enjoying it here and there might be healthy in the name of #balance, but it&aposs best to limit yourself to one glass of red wine a day (even though it&aposs tempting to down half the bottle). Plus, wine is also loaded with sugar (it is made of grapes). You can choose dry wines instead of sweet to help cut down on the sweet stuff a bit, but portion control is your biggest ally.

Aaannddd if that didn&apost kill your buzz: Sadly, some research on the health benefits of red wine has been under fire for fabrication, while another study found that the safest amount of alcohol to consume is, well, none. Sigh.

In addition to drinking in moderation, it&aposs important to make note of your wine-drinking habits: Here areਅ Common Red Wine Mistakes You Might Be Making that could turn this elixir of life into something not-so-healthy. Also, consider the perks of giving up alcohol completely (or at least for a little while, à la Dry January) to better understand how you use alcohol in social situations, to cope with emotions, and to see how your life might just be better without it-even if a little red wine is good for you.