CHEERS! Combat plaque, cavities and tooth decay!
Valentine’s Day is always a great day to pour yourself a nice glass of wine. When you reach for that bottle this evening, choose red wine! Prior research has linked moderate red wine consumption with improved longevity and diminished risk of cardiovascular and neurological diseases. Researchers now say that red wine also has compounds that benefit oral health, preventing cavities and plaque buildup.
MSNBC reports in a recent article that the compounds found in red wine, called polyphenols, block a molecule made by the bacteria Streptococcus mutans, which is found in all of our mouths, according to researcher Hyun Koo, a microbiologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York. Normally, the bacteria break down the sugar we eat and form sticky molecules known scientifically as glucans. These glucans allow the bacteria to cling to our teeth, where acids they produce damage the tooth surfaces by eroding the enamel of our pearly whites, leading to cavities.
Future research hopes to find a way to add these red wine compounds to mouthwashes, toothpastes and chewing gum to help protect our teeth from plaque, cavities and tooth decay. But in the meantime, don’t be hesitant about pouring yourself a glass of red wine. Enjoy the vino and say cheers to the benefits!