For years, we have been praising wine and other fermented fruit beverages for their positive effects on our hearts and the overall health our bodies. However, studies related to their effects on oral maintenance have generated some concern. Wines are usually acidic which is the source of the trouble. A small amount of acid is mostly harmless and can even be helpful in certain instances. However, too much can cause rapid enamel deterioration. Another issue is drying out the mouth and gums, doctors say all it takes is one glass to cause mouth dehydration. They recommend drinking a glass of water shortly afterwards consuming wine as a way to protect your teeth and gums.
So how does the wine affect your teeth? Acid eats away tooth enamel, destroying the protective calcium underneath. Once that structure begins to erode, sensitive nerves are exposed, leading to the throbbing pain most people are familiar with. It also breaks down saliva, causing teeth to become more vulnerable to decomposition. As alcoholic beverages go, red and white wines are, because of their high levels of sugar and acid, considered to be among the greatest contributors to bad oral health. Unfortunately, that also includes bad breath. As the acid dries out your saliva, it disables the body’s primary method of dissolving food and bacteria lingering in the mouth, creating a breeding ground for potentially harmful bacteria and bringing on decay.
Despite the higher concentration of acids in red wine, they are all acidic and therefore, potentially harmful. In fact, wines have even been linked to mouth cancer. Tartaric acid, because it develops naturally in grapes, is prevalent in many fermented products, particularly those that have not been allowed to age. As it enters your mouth it changes your normal ph levels, which means the healthy concentration of acid found in your saliva shifts to dangerous levels.
Wine also contains chromogens, which literally transform it into a dye through a process called oxidation. That is what causes the discoloration that starts to appear on your teeth when drinking red wine, and it’s all happening as the liquid swishes around in your mouth. This is only the start of larger problems that can occur over time.
If you consume red wine (or any wines) frequently and have experienced enamel erosion, contact Canadian Denture and Implant Centers to find out how implants can help restore your teeth.