Blog: Chris Brook-CarterWine folk - don't forget your toothbrush

Chris Brook-Carter | 14 December 2004

Wine is good for you. Wine is bad for you. How I wish you would make your minds up. The latest swing? Wine – bad.

Wine makers, marketers and judges face tooth erosion as an occupational hazard, according to Australian researchers. The process is irreversible, says Dr Diane Hunt, senior lecturer in restorative dentistry at Adelaide University, but the problem can be reduced.

The process begins with the presence of food and drink acids in the mouth. When the pH level falls below 4.5, erosion begins affecting tooth enamel and exposing the very sensitive dentine material. White wine pH levels generally range from 3.2 to 3.8 with sparkling wines as low as 2.8 and the impact can be instantaneous in susceptible people.

Dr Hunt recommends chewing sugar free gum and avoiding brushing for an hour after a tasting to protect enamel. While the erosion is mainly caused by white wines, professionals face tooth staining from the tannins in reds.


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