February 12, 2019 Red wine to the rescue! As Valentine’s Day is upon us, many of us will celebrate by sharing a bottle of wine with our special someone. This time you’ll want to reach for the red wine, as a study has linked the drink to oral health. For years, studies have shown red wine to have numerous health benefits due to antioxidants that support heart health and lower the risk of diabetes. But until recently, it was seen as detrimental to oral health due to its acidity. A recent study led by M. Victoria Moreno-Arribas and colleagues from 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 found that some components of red wine might actually prevent cavities and gum disease. These components, called polyphenols, are a series of micronutrients with antioxidant properties. As we know, antioxidants fight against free radicals that affect the aging process. And in this case, some polyphenols have the added benefit of improving gut health by being absorbed into the small intestine and fighting off bacteria. In the study, Moreno-Arribas et al. used knowledge of polyphenols’ reaction with gut bacteria to test if the same was true for oral bacteria. It turns out that polyphenols in red wine do, in fact, have a similar, protective effect in the mouth, fending off harmful oral bacteria that can cause periodontitis or gum disease. “Researchers compared the effects of two polyphenols from red wine against grape seed and red wine extract supplements on bacteria that stick to teeth and gums and cause dental plaque, cavities and gum disease. They found the wine polyphenols and extracts all reduced the bacteria’s ability to stick to the cells.” Pass the coffee and tea, too, please Polyphenols aren’t just found in red wine; you can find them in many other drinks and foods, too. Drinks • Coffee • Green tea • Black tea • Cider • Orange juice and lemon juice Foods • Blueberries • Raspberries • Kiwis • Black grapes • Cherries • Beans Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Only in Moderation Before you ramp up your red wine consumption, it’s important to note that moderation is key. While it can improve your overall health, it’s always possible to have too much of a good thing. Red wine easily stains teeth, and its acidity can wear away enamel, causing sensitivity. And once your enamel is gone it can’t be regrown. So despite the oral health boost red wine offers, it’s no replacement for regular cleanings and care. Brushing, flossing and bi-annual check-ups will fend off stains, enamel loss and gum disease. Has too much red wine already taken a toll on your teeth? Caffaratti Dental Group offers teeth whitening, dental veneers and periodontal treatment that can restore your smile. Give us a call today at 775-358-1555.