Oral Health Effects: Indulging in Red Wine this Valentine’s Day

Oral health benefits of red wine for patients in Gainesville, FLWhether you’re going to enjoy a day spent with your loved ones or a romantic night out, we’re sure many of our readers have plans in mind for this Valentine’s Day. With this sentimental holiday just a few weeks away, relaxing with a glass of wine probably sounds like an ideal way to celebrate the day. Like most enjoyable treats, we recommend drinking wine in moderation. We’ve mentioned in previous posts about the damaging effects of alcohol on your smile. Alcoholic beverages that are acidic and contain a high sugar content can spur on several oral health problems including tooth decay, gum disease, and even eventual tooth loss. While there are plenty of restoration options on the market like dental implants, following preventative measures is the best way to ensure your smile stays healthy. In this case, researchers show that a glass of red wine every once in a while can actually be beneficial while other reports state that red wine has no positive effects for your pearly whites. So, what’s the truth when it comes to indulging in that glass of red wine? Dental implant provider, Dr. Gary Altschuler explains both of these reports and the truth behind red wine and your oral health for his patients here in Gainesville, FL.

Study Reports Beneficial Effects of Red Wine

A report published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry that red wine can be beneficial for oral health because grape seed extract can prevent cavities. With cavities and gum disease affecting a huge portion of the world population, this report is great news for smiles everywhere. Cavities occur when there is an excess of bacteria that isn’t removed. This bacteria creates communities of bacteria, known as biofilms, and then forms plaque, which eats away at teeth because of the acid produced.

After enough time has passed without being removed, plaque can infect the tooth and gums. The plaque will eat away at the outer layers of the tooth, the enamel and dentin, until it reaches the tooth pulp where the nerve and blood vessels of the tooth are located. Once the pulp is reached, individuals will experience extreme sensitivity in their tooth and will often need a root canal or tooth extraction.

The reports of red wine are significant because research has shown that grape seed extract can slow the growth of this bacteria. Researchers grew a biofilm and tested the effectiveness of several different liquids by dipping them in for a couple of minutes. They dipped the biofilm in red wine with and without alcohol and found that it was effective at getting rid of bacteria in both cases.

Other Organizations say no Known Benefits of Red Wine – What’s the Verdict?

Does this news sound too good to be true? It may just be; The American Dental Association says media headlines of red wine being beneficial for teeth are misleading. The study claimed that red wine is good for limiting the growth of specific bacteria, F. nucleatum and S. oralis. The ADA says that the experimental conditions of the study may be effective if you were to hold red wine in your mouth for two minutes every seven hours. Obviously, this is unrealistic for most people and is unlikely to be effective in real-world conditions. The association also states that there’s no telling whether suppressing a certain bacteria could possibly “promote the growth other opportunistic infections.”

It’s also important to note that red wine is known to have plenty of antioxidants that can have a positive effect on our health. Some researchers believe that the anti-inflammatory properties can be great for individuals affected by Periodontitis. However, the acidic nature of wine can negate the positive components of red wine.

With all of these contrasting reports, it’s hard to determine whether red wine actually has any benefits for your pearly whites. In the end, it’s most important to focus on what we know is great for your teeth: brushing, flossing, and going to the dentist regularly.

Contact Dr. Altschuler in Gainesville, FL

Of course, we believe that enjoying anything in moderation is acceptable, especially with Valentine’s Day approaching. If you’re making oral health a priority, indulging in a glass of red wine won’t significantly hurt your smile. However, if you’re currently dealing with one or more missing teeth, we recommend treating your tooth loss as soon as possible. Dental implants can give you a complete smile with restorations that blend seamlessly with the rest of your teeth. With it’s lasting power and natural feel, patients in Gainesville, FL has enjoyed a beautifully restored smile with the help of Dr. Altschuler and his talented team at Altschuler Periodontic and Implant Center. To begin your dental implant process, contact us today to schedule your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Altschuler.