Does wine cause cavities?

Does wine cause cavities?
Feb 19, 2020

Q: Does wine cause cavities?—Michelle, Jacksonville, Fla.

A: Cavities, also referred to as severe tooth decay, form when tooth structure begins to collapse. Because wine is acidic, with pH levels between 3 and 3.7, it risks bringing the pH level in your mouth into the acidic range—below 5.7—a threshold where cavity-inducing bacteria thrive. Although wine's acidic properties can be conducive to cavity development, dental experts suggest some ways to mitigate the risk. 

"Pairing wine with something that raises the intraoral pH, like cheese, balances out that intraoral acidity, and you prevent dipping below that 5.7 number," University of Alabama periodontist Dr. Maria Geisinger told Wine Spectator. Wine by itself, or in combination with foods high in sugar, raises the risk for tooth decay, Dr. Geisinger says, and she encourages wine lovers to become cheese lovers as well, for its cavity-resistant properties. 

Recent studies have shown the beneficial effects of certain wine components on oral health. Dr. Geisinger mentions recent in vitro studies that show wine polyphenols may decrease bacterial adhesion in gum cells and could reduce the presence of bacteria in a low-acid environment, but in vivo studies have yet to confirm the results. According to Dr. Geisinger, wine lovers should maintain good oral hygiene and make regular visits to a dental professional in order to stay cavity-free.

Q & A Health

You Might Also Like

I suffer from heartburn. How can I avoid it and still enjoy wine?

I suffer from heartburn. How can I avoid it and still enjoy wine?

Among the most common causes of heartburn are overconsumption of food and drink, especially …

Jun 10, 2020
Why do some wines keep me awake at night?

Why do some wines keep me awake at night?

While alcohol is a depressant, it also has stimulating effects which can interfere with how …

May 27, 2020
Is it possible to have an allergic reaction to some wines but not all?

Is it possible to have an allergic reaction to some wines but not all?

Food allergies are adverse immunologic reactions to substances contained in foods or drinks …

May 13, 2020
Are there any benefits to wine baths?

Are there any benefits to wine baths?

Some wellness groups and spas may tout the benefits of wine baths as an antioxidant-rich …

Apr 29, 2020
Is it normal to have ringing in the ears when you drink wine?

Is it normal to have ringing in the ears when you drink wine?

Experiencing ringing in the ears after drinking wine may just not be your imagination. But …

Apr 15, 2020
Can wine alleviate inflammatory disease symptoms?

Can wine alleviate inflammatory disease symptoms?

Although wine is a good source of anti-inflammatory properties, experts caution against its …

Apr 1, 2020