Certain types of food and drink can yield powerful oral health benefits for those who consume them. Among these, red wine is one of the most controversial. While it’s an alcoholic beverage that’s known to stain your teeth, it also contains polyphenols which yield distinct benefits as well. Discover how polyphenols work and see how they can benefit your smile.
Essentially, polyphenols are micronutrients with powerful antioxidant properties. One of the main advantages provided by these antioxidants is that they protect your body against free-radicals, which can increase aging in cells. These polyphenols are found in cocoa powder, dark chocolate, flaxseed, and certain other commonly-available foods. Red wine is rich in polyphenols as well, putting it in the unique position of being an alcoholic beverage that is actually beneficial for you in moderation.
It’s been known for years that polyphenols are excellent for digestion as they kill much of the bacteria that plays a role in making it difficult. This led researchers to wonder if their effectiveness at eliminating bacteria in your gut is also effective elsewhere. Due to the research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry this year, it’s now confirmed that the polyphenols in red wine can also fight tooth decay and help prevent cavities.
Led by M. Victoria Moreno-Arribas and her team from Madrid, Spain, this study compared the effects of multiple types of polyphenols on oral bacteria. While each type of polyphenol produced varying results, the two found in red wine, known as caffeic acid and p-coumaric acid, both proved to be highly effective at repelling bacteria. Specifically, the polyphenols prevent the bacteria from sticking to your teeth, thereby halting the progress of tooth decay.
Red wine is an ironic choice for a beneficial drink for your teeth. On one hand, it can actively prevent cavities due to its polyphenols, and on the other, it’s one of the biggest stain-causers you can consume. Whether drinking red wine is worth risking stained teeth is a decision that will vary from person-to-person. But it’s definitely worth noting that that glass of red wine is more than a fun time with friends – it’s helping to prevent cavities as well.
Sometimes, the foods that are excellent for your teeth are not the ones you’d expect. Much like strawberries, coffee, and dark chocolate, red wine has shown that it contains undeniable benefits that significantly enhance your oral health. Choosing foods that are good for your smile and keeping up with your daily oral care habits are ways to maximize your chances of achieving excellent oral health. If you’re ready for your next dental exam, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Grubb today at his practice in Havre de Grace, MD. We want to hear from you!