Red wine prevents cavities

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DR. JOSEPH D. LIM

DR. JOSEPH D. LIM

Here’s another good reason to drink. Researchers said that red wine, including grape seed extract, could prevent cavities.

This exciting news comes from the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry where the new study was published.

M. Victoria Moreno-Arribas and her colleagues were intrigued by the idea that polyphenols, grape seed extract and wine could slow the growth of bacteria responsible for dental diseases that are common throughout the world.

Science Daily reported that cavities, periodontal diseases and tooth loss currently affect 60-90 percent of the world population. It all starts when bacteria in the mouth join together. Like an angry mob, these bacteria form biofilms that are difficult to kill.


“They form plaque and produce acid, which starts damaging teeth. Brushing, fluoride in toothpaste and water and other methods can help get rid of bacterial plaques but the effects are limited,” according to Science Daily.

Others may turn to their favorite brand of mouthwash but this won’t help. Researchers said that popular anti-microbial rinses could change the color of the gums and affect taste – the reason why people don’t use them as often and as long as they should.

To solve this problem, researchers turned to red wine after initial studies showed it could help prevent cavities. What they found gave them enough reason to celebrate. Red wine was better in fighting bacteria than other liquids.

“They grew cultures of bacteria responsible for dental diseases as a biofilm. They dipped the biofilms for a couple of minutes in different liquids, including red wine, red wine without the alcohol, red wine spiked with grape seed extract, and water and 12 percent ethanol for comparison. Red wine with or without alcohol and wine with grape seed extract were the most effective at getting rid of the bacteria,” said Science Daily.

So the next time you grab a drink, stay healthy and fight cavities with a glass of red wine. It’s one way to prevent tooth decay.

Dr. Joseph D. Lim is the dean of the National University College of Dentistry, president & CEO of Dr. Smile Dental Care & Laser Center and honorary fellow of the Asian Oral Implant Academy and the Japan College of Oral Implantologists. For questions on dental health, e-mail jdlim2008@gmail.com or text 0917-8591515.

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