Text Size:-+

Red Wine and Dentists

File this one under the category of "can't believe everything you read." Those who follow such things will have noticed headlines over the last few days proclaiming "Red Wine Good for Your Teeth" or "Drink Red Wine, Keep Your Teeth Longer." I'm here to tell you that this news isn't as good as it sounds.

First of all, the research findings reported recently about red wine indicate that the polyphenols in red wine inhibit the production of free radicals by various cells in the human body. Apparently someone has taken the leap, because free radicals in high concentration are a factor in gum disease, to suggest that red wine may help prevent periodontal disease.

Such a conclusion is not merited by the research and is a dangerous inference. Not to mention the fact that there's plenty of evidence that red wine is bad for your teeth to begin with. In particular, prolonged exposure to the tartaric acids in red wine can weaken the enamel on teeth and cause gums to recede. Take it from a guy whose dentist has stopped trying to convince him to taste fewer wines at the big tastings, but doesn't hesitate to mention that might be one of the reasons I yelp sometimes during my cleanings as the roots of my teeth become more sensitive with time.

The best thing to do for your teeth. Brush with fluoride. Just make sure to do it after you're done drinking for the evening. Wine tastes awful after toothpaste.

Buy My Award-Winning Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. 2015 Roederer Award Winner.Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Instagram Delectable Flipboard Pinterest

Most Recent Entries

Vinography Images: Unglamorous Work A Lesson in the Loss of Denis Malbec I'll Drink to That: Kimberly Prokoshyn of Rebelle Restaurant Wine News: What I'm Reading the Week of 6/19/16 Vinography Unboxed: Week of June 12, 2016 Warm Up: Richebourg I'll Drink to That: Jean-Nicolas Méo of Méo-Camuzet Vinography Images: It's Nice to be King It's Time for American Wineries to Grow Up I'll Drink to That: Joy Kull of La Villana Winery

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune

Archives by Month


Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud