Red wine has been an on-again, off-again interest in the health community. It’s always in the center of a debate about heart disease. Scientists and dieticians discuss its relative merits as a source of antioxidants and polyphenols. But red wine adds empty calories to your diet and could increase your risks of some cancers. But the pros and cons of red wine don’t stop at general health. The mix of benefits and detriments extend to your teeth.

How is red wine bad for your teeth?

Red wine can be acidic, especially if it’s dry and sparkling. That acid wears away tooth enamel and leaves your teeth vulnerable to damage. It can even pull some of the calcium out of your teeth and make them more brittle.

If you prefer to sip a sugary red wine, that can be even worse. Sugar is well-known for making teeth more vulnerable to decay, and sipping wine means it has more contact with your teeth.

But one of the most visible signs of red wines danger to your teeth is stains. Red wine has chromogens, particles in red wine that produce pigment and the deep red or purple color. The chromogens might not be enough to seriously stain your teeth on their own, but wine also has tannins, which bind the chromogens to your teeth’s surface.

How is red wine good for your teeth?

After all that bad news, you might be ready to cross red wine off your menu. But the same polyphenols that make red wine a good source of antioxidants might also help your mouth’s bacterial environment. While the studies are still preliminary, it could prevent some oral diseases. Polyphenols are produced in plants like grapes to defend against harmful bacteria and win drinkers receive some of those protective effects.

There are also secondary health benefits. If your heart is stronger, it can better pump blood to your gums and more effectively remove toxins. But when you’re making major changes to your diet, it’s always best to talk to your doctor and your dentist. Contact us here to schedule an appointment.