PUBLISHED IN TCI WEEKLY NEWS
6th September 201
Coffee and wine are beverages that many of us enjoy every day, or- for some of us- even more frequently! For a long while medics have debated the potential health risks and benefits of both of these substances, often coming to very different and even contradictory conclusions. Focusing particularly on the dental aspect here, there have recently been a couple of studies on the impact of both of these drinks on teeth.
‘Dentistry Today’ has recently released a study which demonstrates the low understanding of the negative impact of certain alcoholic drinks on teeth with only 16 percent of people saying they are concerned with oral health implications when drinking alcohol
The majority of alcoholic drinks contain either high levels of sugar or high levels of acid. Whether it is the acid directly attacking the teeth or the sugar which turns into acid in the mouth attacking the teeth, the result is the same: tooth erosion and decay.
Sparkling wines or Champagne are (unfortunately for some!) the worst offenders due to both the naturally occurring higher acid levels of the grape and also the carbonation process. Therefore from a dental perspective I would recommend a flat drink rather than a fizzy drink one (although my wife still has yet to be convinced!)
Acidic drinks are a major problem for teeth during the summer, when people are more likely to drink acidic fruit punches or attend celebrations where they will drink Champagne. Drinking water between drinks may help to curb the adverse effects of acidic alcoholic drinks.
There are many drinks—including red wine or port—that stain teeth. Coffee-based cocktails or spirits mixed with dark juices also have the same negative impact on teeth. It’s essential to brush thoroughly after consuming these beverages although not immediately. Dentist’s recommend a wait of 30 minutes after an acidic drink before brushing, so that any enamel softened by the acid has had a chance to re-mineralize in the saliva and so the abrasive action of the toothbrush and paste does not remove the softened enamel.
Coffee, however, may have an unintended benefit.
Researchers recently determined that drinking coffee could lower the risk of gum disease. A research team at Boston University’s Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine conducted the study. Their research indicated that coffee did not have a negative impact on periodontal health.
The study appeared in the August issue of the Journal of Periodontology. The study also showed that drinking coffee regularly had a minimal impact on the number of teeth affected by bone loss. To compile the data a group of more of than 1,100 of adult males ages 26 to 84 were studied. This study was the first of its kind to explore the possible periodontal impact of drinking coffee. Remember adding sugar to your coffee will however increase the chances of tooth decay.