red wine


Wine seems to be a staple to almost any dinner or celebration. It’s there during the holidays, nights out with friends, or even on a night in with your significant other. While studies have shown that red wine can be good for heart health when you drink in moderation, others have shown that too much wine can wreak havoc on your teeth and gums. Let’s take a look at the dark side of wine, and why a little bit is okay, but too much can also be too much for your teeth to handle.


How Does Tooth Decay Occur?

First, let’s take a look at tooth decay and how it occurs. Tooth decay, also known as cavities, causes the enamel to erode away, exposing the sensitive core of the tooth. This often leads to toothaches, pain, temperature sensitivity, discoloration, and more. Whenever you eat a meal, bacteria in your mouth consume any leftover food particles. Typically, these are cleaned away by saliva or by brushing and flossing, but skipping out on daily dental care can accelerate the bacteria consuming your food and laying waste. And we mean literally laying waste: these bacteria eat the sugars and carbohydrates and dispel waste in the form of acids. These acids build up to become plaque and tartar, the beginnings of tooth decay. However, bacteria aren’t the only sources of acid here.


Surprising Source Of Acid

Citrus fruits, sour snacks, and more have long been known to have acidic content, but many patients may not realize that alcohol is acidic too! When it comes to wine, this concentrated amount of acid is just as damaging. Too much alcohol can also leave you with dry mouth, bad breath and prevent your teeth from absorbing calcium deposits. Sparkling wines are considered worse, as the carbonation and alcohol combination can be highly acidic, similar to soda. However, flat wines and diluted wines are considered less acidic.


Stains, Sugar, And Bad Breath

Acids can erode away at the enamel, exposing the dentin layer underneath and causing a yellow or light brown stain. Most stains can be removed through brushing, but heavy stains can’t always be fixed with toothpaste, and may require more in-depth cleaning. It’s not just wine that’s responsible either: coffee, curry, dark-colored berries, and more can also lead to staining, without proper cleaning. White wines and sweet wines also have a large amount of sugar in them as well. As we said above, bacteria crave this sugar and, without proper brushing, can deposit tooth-eroding acids as a result. But, as we said above, alcohol dehydration is one of the top reasons why drinking in moderation is always better. Alcohol makes it difficult for saliva production, and without this natural substance, it’s easier for bacteria to stay rooted to your teeth. To battle this common cause, we recommend drinking water with your wine as you enjoy your evening or meal.