I am aware of how ironic the fact that wine can actually help you fight cavities sounds, given the fact that it’s well known for staining your teeth. However, according to a recent study led by Spanish researchers, the antioxidants found in wine, known under the name of polyphenols, can actually protect your teeth by getting rid of all the bacteria that exists in your mouth and eventually leads to cavities and gum disease.
Polyphenols have also been known, even from previous studies, to having effects such as protecting the body from free harmful radicals. Also, recently it has been revealed that they might be working with the “good bacteria” in our gut.
Hence, for this study, the scientists looked into how polyphenols could possibly be good for oral health. They compared the impacts of two polyphenols from red wine against grape seed and red wine extract supplements on bacteria that stick to teeth and gums and cause dental plaque, cavities and gum disease. [i]
The result showed that the compounds in red wine were most effective when it came to getting rid of the bacteria that sticks on the teeth and gums. Another unexpected effect was that when the polyphenols from the red wine were combined with a probiotic that had as aim the growth of “good bacteria”, they did an even better job at getting rid of the bad bacteria.
It is believed that these new findings might lead to new dental treatments.
Polyphenols and were to find them
Good news is that wine is not the only place where you can get your polyphenol intake. You can also find them in green and black tea, coffee, orange and lemon juice. Berries are also a great source, blueberries, raspberries, black grapes, cherries, beans and kiwis.
Let’s not rush into this
Although this might be great news, especially for red wine lovers like myself, we should take a step back before starting to pour another glass. Let’s take a moment to remember all the other side effects that wine has.
When it comes to us, women, wine can increase the risk of certain types of breast cancer. Also, in case you try to go on a diet, drinking wine is not really a bright idea since just one glass has around 94 calories. And let’s not forget that though it does fight the bad bacteria, it does stain your teeth due to its acids and tannins.
As a conclusion before jumping to another glass of red wine, we must also keep in mind that there are plenty of other ways of fighting the appearance of cavities, such as brushing our teeth more often or cutting back on sugar, visiting our dentist every once in a while, taking a better look at our diet and so on.
We are hoping that in the future this study will prove its practical side, for instance, some chewing gum with the taste of wine might be welcome. But on a more serious note, until then, it’s all just theories and we have to keep in mind both the pros and cons. Meanwhile enjoy your wine ladies and gentlemen!