Wine Tastings, Is It Destroying Your Teeth?

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Sunday, 15 May 2016

Australian Dental Journal published new evidence that suggests that wine tasters and people that expose their teeth to wine several times a day might be at risk of dental erosion and increased tooth sensitivity.

It was researchers at the University of Adelaide’s School of Dentistry that experimented with specimens of enamel and wine. They submerged the enamel repeatedly for one minute at a time in white wine to simulate wine tasting.

They found that after only 10 short submersions the enamel started to soften and started to become vulnerable to mechanical wear.

Study co-author Dr Saribin Ranjitkar said “With professional wine tasters and winemakers tasting anywhere from 20 to 150 wines per day, and wine judges tasting up to 200 wines per day during wine shows, this represents a significant risk to their oral health,"

 

"Our results reinforce the need for people working in the profession to take early, preventative measures, in consultation with their dentists, to minimise the risks to their teeth."

So if you are planning to swish some wine around your mouth, make sure you protect your teeth by rinsing with fluoridated mouthwash.

So, if you are a wine taster, what can you do to prevent damaging your teeth?

“Remineralising and refraining from vigorous brushing” is the best protection against enamel wear, Sue Bastian, who is an Associate Professor at the University of Adelaide’s School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, told Opens external link in new windowHealth Canal.

"Typically, the night before a wine tasting session it is best to apply remineralising agents in the form of calcium, phosphate and fluoride to coat and protect the teeth. The morning of a wine tasting, we advise not brushing the teeth or, if that's too unpalatable, chewing gum to stimulate saliva, which is naturally protective.

After a wine tasting, the teeth are likely to be much softer, so we recommend rinsing with water, and when it comes time to clean the teeth, just putting some toothpaste on your finger and cleaning with that. Cleaning with a brush when teeth are soft runs the risk of damaging the enamel."

Demineralisation of the tooth surface occurs when minerals like calcium are dissolved away from the tooth’s hard surface. Remineralisation is the process that reverses demineralisation with help of, for example the fluoride in drinking water, toothpaste or mouthwashes.

 

This article was published in January 4, 2016 Opens external link in new window(Pilcrow Magazine)