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12.2009

Massachusetts Beverage Business

archivedHealth

DOES WHITE WINE TURN TEETH BROWN?

No one would dispute the fact that too much red wine will stain the teeth. A new study, however, has found that white wine actually does far more damage than red. Scientists have found that whites such as Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio wear away enamel more quickly than red wines such as Merlot and Claret. Researchers say prolonged contact with white wine erodes the protective layer – making teeth more sensitive to cold, hot and sweet food. A team from Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, looked at the effects of eight red and white wines from Germany, France, Italy, and Spain on the enamel of teeth removed from men and women aged 4O to 65. The teeth were soaked in wines for up to 24 hours and then analyzed under the microscope. Teeth soaked in whites had more damage than those left overnight in red wines, the researchers report in the journal nutrition research. “Within the limits of this study, it can be predicted that frequent consumption of white wines might lead to severe dental erosion,” said co-author Dr. Brita Willershausen. Past studies have shown that carbonated drinks and citrus beverages such as lemon, orange and grapefruit juice can rot dental enamel. If teeth have been softened by exposure to acids, the damage can be made worse by excessive brushing of the teeth too soon afterwards. Diet, the frequency of sipping and the role of saliva can alter the way white wine rots teeth. But there is hope. The researchers believe that calcium-rich foods could offset some of the damage, saying: “The tradition of enjoying different cheeses for dessert or in combination with drinking wine might have a beneficial effect on preventing dental erosion because cheese contains calcium in a high concentration.”

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