In a series of dental articles, the Saskatoon dental team at Neesh Dental share interesting dental information and education. In our latest post, we discuss the question:

Are Red Wine & Cranberries Good for Your Teeth?

When you pop open that bottle of red wine over dinner, consider toasting its benefits to your teeth. After all, compounds in red wine can prevent cavities and plaque build-up, researchers say.

Are red wine and cranberries good for teeth?
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The compounds — called polyphenols — block a molecule made by the bacteria streptococcus mutans, which are found in all our mouths, said researcher Hyun Koo, a microbiologist at University of Rochester Medical Center in New York.

“Normally, these bacteria break down sugar we eat and make sticky molecules called glucans, which let bacteria to cling to our teeth and damage their surfaces. These bacteria also produce an acid that erodes the tooth enamel, leading to cavities, ” he said.

But the fermented grape stems, seeds and skins left over from wine production contain high amounts of polyphenols. The polyphenols can block the ability of S. mutans to make glucans, letting the good bacteria in the mouth thrive while disabling the bad bacteria from sticking to the teeth, Koo said.

“The oral cavity is a very rich microbial environment, so you can’t just smoke [the bad bacteria] out,” he said. “There are beneficial and pathogenic organisms.”

Koo, who was a dentist before becoming a microbiologist, also found that compounds in cranberries work similarly — they block the molecules that enable the sticky surface to form on our teeth.

When researchers fed rats the cranberry compounds, called A-type proanthocyanidins, they found that the bacteria’s production of acid and glucans were reduced by 70 percent, and cavities were reduced by 45 percent, according to a study Koo published in March in the dental health journal Caries Research.

But be warned, eating heaps of cranberry sauce or downing glass after glass of red wine won’t help you reap the dental benefits of these compounds. Cranberry products, such as cranberry sauce or cranberry juice cocktail, contain a lot of sugar and aren’t good for the teeth, and red wine can stain the teeth.

Instead, Koo and others hope to find a way to add these compounds to mouthwashes, toothpaste and gum to combat plaque and cavities.

At Neesh Dental in Saskatoon, a beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime is our ultimate goal when treating patients.  Your personal home care plays an important role in achieving that goal.  Our team of Saskatoon dentists and support staff try to always share interesting articles, dental facts and dental hygiene tips so you can take good care of your teeth. Contact us today to book a Saskatoon dental appointment.

Saskatoon Dentist, NEESH Dental Clinic, (306) 665-8414
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Source article https://www.livescience.com/9141-cheers-red-wine-cranberries-good-teeth.html

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