Updated: Oct 9, 2020
It might stain your teeth, but red wine could offer oral health benefits that will give wine lovers something to smile about!
A recent study suggests that polyphenols (micronutrients with antioxidant properties) found in red wine are effective in fighting three types of bacteria that are the main culprits for causing dental plaque, tooth decay and gum disease.
The researchers involved in the study tested polyphenols from grape seeds, red wine extracts and red wine itself against tooth decay causing bacteria. Though all three reduced the harmful oral bacteria’s ability to attach to cells to some degree, the red wine polyphenols (caffeic acid and p-coumaric acid) were the most effective. Simply put, these polyphenols can provide great oral health benefits by preventing harmful bacteria from clinging to saliva, teeth and gums.
Further research needs to be conducted to determine how these polyphenols caused the bacteria to be hampered, and how these findings could lead to new dental treatments. And though polyphenols found in red wine might provide oral health benefits, the other properties of wine (such as its acidity and sugar content, two of the greatest contributors to tooth decay) means that swishing with it regularly and for prolonged periods of time would be counterproductive, besides also resulting in a nicely stained smile! And of course, red wine is still an alcoholic beverage and should always be consumed in moderation.
Not a wine drinker? Many other drinks and foods also contain polyphenols, such as: coffee, green and black tea, cider, berries, dark fruits, beets, beans, nuts, dark chocolate, and more.