There are two parts to the infection that threatens your teeth. First, there’s the invasion of bacteria into your mouth, which injures your teeth, causing cavities, and your gums, resulting in gum disease, detachment of your gums from your teeth, and more. The second part of the infection is when your body responds, creating an immune response that can be as destructive to your teeth or even more so than the bacteria themselves.
Fortunately, research shows that red wine can help protect your mouth from both parts of the infection.
Red Wine Protects Your Body from Itself
The first discovery about the benefits of red wine was that it helped control the inflammatory response to infection, potentially protecting your body from the overzealous immune response that can destroy your bones and result in tooth loss.
Polyphenols is red wine can help neutralize inflammatory compounds that trigger the body’s extreme immune response, which means that even if it didn’t help control infection, it could help limit damage from infection.
Red Wine Is an Effective Antibiotic
But new research confirms that wine contains antibacterial compounds that can impair the growth of plaque on your teeth.
Plaque is what is technically known as a biofilm, a combination of the bacteria cells and protective goo designed to help the bacteria survive in harsh conditions, such as the saliva of your mouth. Researchers looked at the impact of red wine and several wine-like compounds compared to chlorhexidine, a standard antibacterial rinse. Red wine, dealcoholized red wine, and wine extract solution spiked with grape seed and inactive dry yeast were all effective at reducing the growth of bacteria biofilms on simulated teeth. None of them were as effective as the chlorhexidine, but they were significantly better than the other compounds studied.
This is good news for people who routinely enjoy a glass of red wine with or after dinner, although the full extent of the benefit hasn’t yet been verified. The only down side is the potential for teeth staining, but teeth whitening works well on wine stains and similar food-related stains.
Want to learn more about other delicious ways to protect your teeth? Please call (310) 275-5325 for an appointment with a Beverly Hills dentist.