Red Wine May Prevent Gum Disease and Cavities — Cheers!
Red wine receives plenty of attention for its abundance of heart-healthy polyphenols. These compounds protect the cardiovascular system, help lower your blood pressure and contribute to a healthy cholesterol profile.
Studies also provide evidence that moderate consumption of red wine has protective effects against diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders and the human gut microbiota. In particular, the compounds found in red wine appear to have an impact on the growth of certain types of bacteria in the gut.
Many of these common health burdens are simply due to a vitamin deficiency experienced by a whopping 75% of adults in the U.S. The good news is that this deficiency can be corrected quickly, easily and inexpensively.
With this in mind, a team of researchers wanted to find out what type of effect red wine might have on oral bacteria associated with gum disease and cavities.
Red Wine Polyphenols Fend Off Bacteria That Cause Tooth Decay
The research team investigated the effects of an assortment of polyphenols on bacteria that stick to the teeth and gums. They included two red wine polyphenols along with grape seed and red wine extracts.
Working with cells that model gum tissue, they found that all of the polyphenols and extracts reduced the bacteria’s ability to stick to cells. However, the two wine polyphenols — caffeic and p-coumaric acids — were the most effective.
When combined with Streptococcus dentisani, which is believed to be an oral probiotic, the polyphenols were even better at fending off bacteria that cause dental plaque, cavities and periodontal disease. The researchers also showed that metabolites formed when digestion of the polyphenols begins in the mouth might be responsible for some of these effects.
In conclusion, the authors state: “Our study, based on an in vitro model of bacterial adherence results, is very useful as an initial approach to go deeper into the mechanisms of action of red wine polyphenols against oral diseases.”
How Much Wine Should You Drink?
While this is great news for the future of dental care, it’s not a good reason to start consuming more wine…or start drinking it if you don’t already. As with any alcoholic beverage, moderation is key. This means women should stick with one 5 ounce glass of wine daily while most men can enjoy two glasses.
Also, keep in mind that wine is not the only source of polyphenols. Berries, plums, apples, coffee and tea are all rich in these compounds too.
In the meantime, don’t forget to get regular dental checkups and floss, brush and rinse at least twice each day!
Saleem TSM, et al. Red wine: A drink to your heart. J Cardiovasc Dis Res. 2010 Oct-Dec; 1(4): 171–176.
Wine polyphenols could fend off bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. Press Release. American Chemical Society. Feb 2018.
Esteban-Fernández A, et al. Inhibition of Oral Pathogens Adhesion to Human Gingival Fibroblasts by Wine Polyphenols Alone and in Combination with an Oral Probiotic. J. Agric. Food Chem., 2018, 66 (9), pp 2071–2082
Dana Nicholas is a freelance writer and researcher in the field of natural and alternative healing. She has over 20 years of experience working with many noted health authors and anti-aging professionals, including James Balch, M.D., Dr. Linda Page, “Amazon” John Easterling and Al Sears M.D. Dana’s goal is to keep you up-to-date on information, news and breakthroughs that can have a direct impact on your health, your quality of life… and your lifespan. “I’m absolutely convinced that America’s misguided trust in mainstream medicine – including reliance on the government to regulate our food and medicine supply – is killing us, slowly but surely,” she cautions. “By sharing what I’ve learned throughout the years I hope I can empower others to take control over their own health.”