White wine ‘does more damage to teeth than red’ say scientists

Regularly drinking white wine could be more harmful to teeth than opting for red wine, scientists claim.

New research contradicts the commonly held belief that ‘staining’ red wine causes more damage to teeth than white.

Grapes such as Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio can wear away enamel more quickly than red grapes such as Merlot and Claret, making teeth more sensitive to hot and cold, they say.

The study suggests that Riesling wines tend to have the greatest impact, having the lowest pH, but that a ‘kinder’ tooth choice would be a rich red.

The team from Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, examined eight red and white wines from Germany, France, Italy and Spain, and analysed their effects on adult teeth removed from men and women aged between 40 to 65.

The teeth were soaked in both wines for a duration of 24 hours. After a day, the researchers noted a significant loss of minerals including calcium and phosphorus found in the enamel surface to the depths of up to 60 micrometers.

The findings – reported in the journal Nutrition Research – also warn that excessive brushing immediately after alcohol consumption should be avoided as it could further harm the teeth.

The researchers concluded that frequent consumption of white wine could lead to severe dental erosion but noted that eating cheese alongside sipping wine could help counter the acidic effect since cheese is rich in calcium.

‘The tradition of enjoying different cheeses for dessert, or in combination with drinking wine, might have a beneficial effect on preventing dental erosion since cheeses contain calcium in a high concentration,’ they said.

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