Wine - Could it be harmful for my teeth?

Wine - Could it be harmful for my teeth?

When sugary items are eaten excessively, the bacteria in the oral cavity react with the sugar on the teeth and produce acids and toxins. These acids start damaging the tooth enamel, which is the outer surface of the tooth. Eventually, tooth decay and dental cavities occur. The consumption of wine, particularly red wine, has the potential to cause dental erosion. People who are habitual red wine drinkers can be easily identified due to their purple teeth, because wine also stains the teeth. Moreover, wine also causes dental sensitivity and increases the dental bills for the consumer!

There are some positive and some negative effects of wine on the general and dental health of the consumer. The following are some of the negative outcomes of wine drinking with regard to dental health:

  • Wine potentially causes dental erosion. Dental erosion is the irreversible loss of tooth surface which starts from the tooth enamel and then continues through to the dentin. Frequent consumption of wine can damage the tooth enamel and this results in tooth loss and other dental issues.

  • The color of the teeth also change due to excessive consumption of wine. People who drink wine have stained and even purple colored teeth. This looks particularly ugly.

  • The teeth of people who drink wine become highly sensitive. This means that these individuals feel pain and discomfort when they eat or drink cold, hot or sweet items. This sensitivity can be anything from a minor sensation to intense pain, depending on the condition of the teeth. The basic cause of dental sensitivity is dental erosion. As the tooth enamel becomes damaged with the wine the inner portion of the teeth become exposed to the exterior environment and the teeth become very sensitive.

  • Leukoplakia is the condition in which certain types of white patches can be found on the mucous membrane in the oral cavity, including the tongue. The condition is assumed to be precancerous. Frequent consumption of wine can also cause leukoplakia.


Although the consumption of wine negatively affects dental health, it does however, have some positive effects on the oral health as well. The following are some of the positive effects:

Wine acts as an antibacterial agent against oral streptococci, S. pyogenes and pathogens. Wine extracts and the phenolic compounds in wine have the ability to protect against oral pathogens. In this way, the damage caused by oral bacteria can be minimized.

  • Research and study has also proved that the consumption of wine, red or white, can also lower the dental caries activity.

  • Wine also has the potential to prevent and treat gingivitis and periodontal disease. Periodontitis is a gum disease in which the gums become inflamed, their colour darkens and pain is felt.  Wine is among the compounds which can be used to treat this condition.


According to study and research, wine is both good and bad for oral health. Different dental experts and researchers have different opinions about this subject. Although it is obvious that excessive consumption of wine can be damaging for oral hygiene.

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