Wine tasters' teeth at risk

By - Bad Breath Expert

SUMMARY:  Wine tasting has been linked to rapid tooth erosion, according to new research.

Posted: March 25, 2015

According to new research from the University of Adelaide, the acid in wine can make teeth vulnerable to erosion within minutes, which could be detrimental to the oral health of wine tasters. Published in the Australian Dental Journal, the study suggests that even a 10-minute wine tasting session can cause acid erosion, as demonstrated using both a scratch test and surface roughness test. The team concluded that to mitigate these risks, new oral hygiene standards need to be enforced for professional wine tasters.

Oral health for wine tasters
Interestingly enough, wine tasters often protect their teeth by rinsing with a remineralizing solution the night before an event and not brushing their teeth the morning it occurs. After a tasting, professionals rinse with water or other cleaners, but generally don't brush, as this common practice can potentially damage softened enamel. Though these hygienic measures seem counterintuitive, they're meant to minimize the effect of acid erosion caused by wine. 

"With professional wine tasters and winemakers tasting anywhere from 20 to 150 wines per day, and wine judges tasting up to 200 wines per day during wine shows, this represents a significant risk to their oral health," Dr. Sarbin Ranjitkar, a study author from the university's school of dentistry, said in a statement. He continued:

"Our results reinforce the need for people working in the profession to take early, preventative measures, in consultation with their dentists, to minimize the risks to their teeth." 

According to the university, oral health concerns are becoming an increasingly important part of the educational curriculum for wine tasters in order to prevent tooth decay and other problems. Anyone considering this profession should examine research regarding the topic in more detail. 

For the average wine drinker 
If you simply enjoy an occasional glass of wine at home, understanding the impact it can have on your teeth is still important. However, sipping wine from time to time is different from sampling hundreds of varieties in one sitting. In fact, recent studies suggest that drinking red wine in moderation has a wide range of health benefits, including the potential to combat some harmful oral bacteria. Research also suggests components of red wine can play a role in preventing cancer and cardiovascular disease. All in all, remain cognizant of your oral health and make sure to regularly brush, floss and rinse your teeth to keep them healthy and strong. 

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