Drink Up: Red Wine May Fight Cavities

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 05/23/2014 | 01:30 PM EDT

Researchers say elements found in red wine kills bacteria and could be incorporated in mouthwashes and toothpaste

Need yet another excuse to pour yourself a glass of cabernet sauvignon? Well luckily for you, a new study suggests that a glass of red wine may help fight cavities.


DRINK UP: THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF RED WINE


According to research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, red wine contains antimicrobial elements that were found to help kill bacteria in simulated lab tests. Cavities, gum disease and tooth loss are caused by the accumulation of bacteria in the mouth, and researchers say their findings could be used to harness the cavity-fighting powers of red wine and incorporate them into products like mouthwashes and toothpaste.


The New York Daily News reports:


To test the theory under realistic conditions, Spanish and Swiss scientists grew cultures of mouth-mimicking bacteria and dipped the biofilms in different liquids such as red wine, alcohol-free red wine, red wine spiked with grape seed extract, water and 12 percent ethanol. Of the different liquids, the three forms of red wine were the most effective at eliminating the bacteria.


ELIMINATING THE INTIMIDATION OF WINE IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY


However, before you decide to refill your glass for a third time, it’s important to keep in mind that red wine is also known to stain teeth. To avoid permanent stains on your pearly whites, experts suggest drinking sparkling water and eating high-fiber foods to loosen and scrub off the wine before it has a chance to stain, and skipping acidic white wine, which acts like sandpaper and strips teeth of their protective coating. You can also pair red wine with a calcium-rich hard cheese, which acts as a polish and wax for teeth.


Drink up!

(Photo: Dean Mitchell/Getty Images)

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