|A new study has found that drinking wine can wreak havoc on one’s teeth in a mere matter of minutes.
According to a March 26 New Zealand Herald article, the University of Adelaide study simulated the amount of exposure to the acids in wine typically experienced by professional wine tasters.
The researchers found that just 10 one-minute episodes of tasting wine are enough to wear away the tooth’s enamel — the hard, clear protective material that covers our teeth and never grows back once it has been stripped away. The erosion of enamel is commonly referred to as acid wear.
Wine is one of the most acidic beverages — it contains organic acids like tartaric, maleic, lactic and citric acids. When professional wine tasters and winemakers taste anywhere from 20 to 150 wines per day, the need for preventive measures against this acid wear is highly necessary for people working in the wine industry.
“Our results reinforce the need for people working in the (wine tasting) profession to take early, preventative measures, in consultation with their dentists, to minimize the risks to their teeth,” Dr. Sarbin Ranjitkar, from the university’s School of Dentistry, said.
According to MedicalXpress.com, staff and students in the University of Adelaide’s winemaking programs already practice a series of preventive measures to keep their teeth safe from acid wear and erosion.
“Enamel can be damaged from a variety of beverages, not just wine. You need to be careful of how much sugar and artificial coloring is included in those drinks as well,” said Tracy Reed, professional relations director at Dr. Tom Popp, a Chattanooga-based orthodontics office. “Always be sure to visit your dentist for teeth whitening products, which can help correct staining issues. It is also recommended to brush your teeth as quickly as possible after drinking red wine or other dark colored drinks such as coffee.”
The night before a wine tasting session is scheduled to take place, staff and students treat their teeth with calcium, phosphate and fluoride, which coat the teeth and form a protective layer over the enamel.
Additionally, staff and students avoid brushing their teeth before doing a wine tasting, as this can make the teeth more vulnerable to wine’s acids. After a wine tasting, they rinse with water, according to the study published in the Australian Dental Journal.
While most casual wine drinkers likely have nothing to fear when enjoying their favorite beverage, it’s still important to be aware of its potential effects on one’s dental health.