sip wine

Sip wine to save your teeth!

  Tooth erosion may be an occupational hazard for wine tasters because of the beverage’s acidity, and even regular wine drinkers may need to take some precautions, according to the Academy of General Dentistry, an organization of general dentists dedicated to continuing dental education.

A study found that wine tasters who tested between 20 and 50 different wines daily for sessions of more than one hour experienced some form of enamel erosion.

Enamel erosion develops when wine tasters swish the wine and spit it out after tasting, keeping the wine in constant contact with the enamel. White wine has a higher acidic value than red wine, and Italian red wines with higher fluoride content have less erosive potential than French wines.

“Other beverages, such as orange juice and soda, also may cause tooth erosion when consumed in high quantities,” says Charles Perle, DMD, FAGD, spokesperson for the Academy. “Bulimia is another cause of tooth erosion because of constant regurgitation of stomach acids.”

When drinking acidic beverages, the Academy of General Dentistry recommends drinking through a straw or taking small sips, limiting the acid contact against the teeth. “Remember, your teeth aren’t thirsty, your throat is,” says Dr. Perle.

The study indicated a low saliva flow increased the erosion potential the saliva serves as an enamel barrier. Brushing before or after wine tasting increases erosion by removing the protective saliva barrier.