Wine has a rich history in the annals of humankind. If you study ancient history you will come across wine and its associated paraphernalia in archaeology and in the recorded pages of history. The ancient Greeks and Romans loved the stuff. Drinking wine was seen as the status-enhancing activity that many aspired to. Freedmen and women had wine drinking reliefs carved on their tomb stones to show that they had thrown off the bondages of slavery and ascended to a higher material plane. So, is red, red wine beneficial for our oral health? Or does it just feel good at the time and if you overdo it you feel like cr*p the next morning?

Red Wine What’s In It?

Human beings and most animals, I suspect, are addictive creatures. We do stuff which pleases us. We imbibe in what sensually feels delightful. We are sensual beings at our core. Wine feels good going down. The alcoholic nature of it lifts many of us up into a warm and fuzzy state. Inhibitions come down and confidence increases. On the physiological side of things wine is chemically made up of:

“Red wine, an alcoholic beverage is composed of a spectrum of complex compounds such as water, alcohol, glycerol, organic acid, carbohydrates, polyphenols, and minerals as well as volatile compounds. Major factors that affect the levels of phenolic compounds in red wines are the variety of grapes and the storage of the wines.”


The Addictive Nature Of Wine

You will find both positive and negative health accounts of wine written by scientists depending upon who is paying their wages. It is an emotive issue for many, especially dyed in the wool drinkers. Never question the health element of a big red wine drinker if you want to be invited back to their place. Australians are touchy about their boozing and see it as a cultural part of being a laid back Aussie. The addictive nature of wine is a management issue for most dedicated drinkers of the stuff.

Red, red wine: Is it beneficial for oral health? Like anything in small doses it has positive effects. Red wine has some oral health positives, according to a recent Spanish study.

“What they found — experimenting with a laboratory model of gum tissue — was that the two red wine polyphenols caffeic acid and p-coumaric acid were most effective at repelling the harmful oral bacteria and preventing them from attaching to healthy tissue.
Next, they tested a mix of caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid, and Streptococcus dentisani, which is an oral probiotic that, as recent research has suggested, may help to prevent tooth decay.
This experiment was even more successful, as the protective effect of the two polyphenols was enhanced by the presence of the probiotic.”
– Medical News Today

The study was conducted by the Institute for Research into Food Science in Madrid.

Of course, if you are swilling the stuff down in bucket loads, as many drinkers do, then, the advantages soon dissipate. The old adage is that drinking in moderation can be good for your health. Unfortunately, this is always easier said than done. Oftentimes, the red wine tastes so bloody good it is hard to stop refilling your glass and slurping it down. The naturally addictive nature of us humans is that we do what feels good until it no longer feels good or we pass out. Yes, some folk are better at managing their sensual pleasures than others. Life is made up of stories that we subscribe to. This story is the one that tells us that red wine can be good for our health. However, the caveat of extreme moderation is rarely adhered to and we knock back glass after glass.

Wine Industry Telling The Good Health News Story

The wine industry and their bevy of PR and communication people will seize on this positive research and promote it until the cows come home. This is because they well know that everything is about coming up with a narrative which emphasises the positive attributes of the product in a health sense. Never mind that the study really reveals that red wine would make a good ingredient for a mouth wash and that that is about how much of the stuff you should imbibe. This little piece of information will be conveniently lost in the telling. Drinkers will see it as a green light to go on drinking red wine and, perhaps, up the ante in volume.

Wine used to be used as a medium or carrier of other active ingredients by traditional folk healers back in medieval times. Like vinegar it is acidic and naturally repellent of bacteria. Yes, the upshot of these new findings re-oral health is that you should rinse your mouth out with red wine and spit it out afterwards. Who in their right mind is going to do that!

“The message has also raised some eyebrows in the medical community. “There is little doubt that polyphenols have huge benefits for our dental health, however, I would argue that these can be gained from less acidic and potentially damaging beverages such as green tea,” suggests Dr. Lewis Ehrlich, a holistic dentist from Sydney Holistic Dental Centre.
“The concern that I have is two-fold. One is that wine is very acidic and can damage enamel over time. The second is that regular consumption of wine can stain teeth,” explains Dr. Ehrlich.”
– Men’s Health Magazine

Break Out The Red Wine Toothpaste

Blokes across Australia were looking forward to the red wine toothpaste and mouthwash. Big drinkers of both genders were gearing up for an extra case of the stuff from their liquor supplier per fortnight. A little encouragement in broad brushstrokes can go a long way. Oral health is big business and the makers of vino would love to share their tipple in the white lab coat market. Hopefully dentists will be restraining themselves during business hours. Of course, I am jesting here. Australian dentists are some of the finest practitioners of the dental arts globally. We have a very high standard of dentistry in Australia in the 21C.

Red, Red Wine Is No Solution For Oral Health

If you want the best results for your oral health give the booze the flick or embrace moderation like a monk with a hair shirt. Liberal consumption of red wine stains your teeth, lips and tongue. It will eat up the enamel of your teeth. It will dry out your mouth and dehydrate your system. The excessive alcohol will leech you of your natural immunity. Your liver will not function properly and cause you multiple serious health issues down the track. You will live your life in a haze and mornings will be a nasty time for your mouth and mental health. Of course, wine consumed in moderation can be good for the mind and body – it is the moderation bit that is so hard to do!

Practice Manager Rachel - Melton Dental House

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