What’s in red wine that might have oral health benefits?
Lovers of red wine do not only enjoy the velvety taste and lingering aroma of this famous beverage but many are well aware about its cardiovascular benefits. Certainly when drinking in moderation, red wine is a beneficial companion together with a balance diet. Other studies have extolled the health benefits of the drink, including, prevention of dementia, diabetes and certain types of cancer.
Now a new study out of Spain, from the Instituto de Investigación en Ciencias de la Alimentación in Madrid, and the Department of Health and Genomics at the Center for Advanced Research in Public Health in Valencia, is saying that drinking red wine is also beneficial to oral health. But isn’t red wine one of the culprits in teeth staining? It’s a well-documented disadvantage to oral health. However, the study revealed that there is another merit of red wine where oral health is concerned – some of its components may protect against the formation of cavities and against gum disease.
The researchers hypothesized that polyphenols found in red wine and grapes could have a protective effect in the mouth, fending off harmful oral bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. Polyphenols are micronutrients with antioxidant properties which can protect against the action of free radicals.
The study first compared the effect of two types of polyphenol typically found in red wine (caffeic acid and p-coumaric acid) as well as that of red wine and grape seed extracts (Provinols and Vitaflavan) on three harmful oral bacteria: Fusobacterium nucleatum, Streptococcus mutans, and Porphyromonas gingivalis.
Using a laboratory model of gum tissue, it was found that the two red wine polyphenols were most effective at keeping harmful oral bacteria and preventing them from attaching to healthy tissue. Then a mix of the polyphenols and an oral probiotic named Streptococcus dentisani, which may help to prevent tooth decay. It proved to be more successful as the protective effect of the two polyphenols was enhanced by the presence of the probiotic.
So now there’s scientific basis to love more your red wine. The polyphenols in red wine can help prevent cavity formation and gum disease. And where red wine can stain teeth, just be sure to have a mouthwash or a teeth-brushing after enjoying a night of wine. One must not ignore that wine is an alcoholic beverage, though, and overdrinking have problems of its own.
Drinking Moderately is Key
Do enjoy your red wine, its health and now, its oral benefits. Moderation is key in order to reap its advantages. However, do mind regular dental visits which, by themselves, are essential to oral health. Always consult with your doctor and dentist first.