Does Red Wine Fight Cavities?

Red wine can fight bacteria, but does that mean our Sacramento dentists suggest it over toothpaste?

Results show that red wine, at moderate concentration, inhibits the growth of some pathogenic species in an oral biofilm.” — Scientist Victoria Moreno

A recent study out of Spain has suggested that red wine is potentially useful for fighting the oral bacteria that cause gum disease and cavities. What effect does red wine have on microbacteria? Should you start using it instead of toothpaste?

The Red Wine Study

The scientists started the study, in part, due to research that indicates that polyphenols, a chemical common in grapes, raisins, tea and cranberries, has antibacterial effects. Since red wine especially has high concentrations of polyphenols, they decided to study how it affected oral bacteria on their usual substrate — biofilms created by the bacteria that cover your tooth enamel. While interesting, the results do not mean that you can throw away your toothbrush and start drinking vine products for oral hygiene.

The Results of the Wine Study

To conduct the study, researchers placed different oral bacteria on plates of biofilm. They then “fed” the bacteria twice a day. After each “feeding,” the plates were dipped in wine for two minutes. After one week, the plates were examined. Both ordinary and alcohol-free red wine showed minor to major reductions in bacteria, depending on the species.

Conclusions from the Red Wine Study

Author and reporting scientist Victoria Moreno commented “results show that red wine, at moderate concentration, inhibits the growth of some pathogenic species in an oral biofilm.” She suggested, not that people should drink more wine, but that grape compounds, such as grape seed extract, could form a natural component of some forms of dental care products. To reinforce this notion, the American Dental Association commented on this article by saying: “For now, the ADA recommends you stick to brushing for two minutes twice a day and flossing daily for good dental health.”

Keep in mind that the study did not demonstrate that red wine prevents cavities, although it does limit the growth of some bacteria linked to tooth decay and gum disease. Also, it is important to note that red wine also stains the teeth and dental restorations like crowns and veneers — so drinking it every day will likely lead to more frequent visits to the Sacramento Dentistry Group for tooth whitening or to replace your restorations! As always, our Sacramento dentists suggest that you act in moderation and continue a daily oral hygiene routine for the best dental outcomes.

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1 Comment
  • MB
    Posted at 09:42h, 12 September Reply

    What? I can’t switch to a vine product dental regimen? That’s what I was hoping for when I started to read this post. Interesting study though! I’d rather drink wine and have healthier teeth than swish tea around my mouth for supposed dental health like Mao ZeDong did.

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