Brita Willershausen and colleagues from the Department of Operative Dentistry and Department of Geoscience, Johannes Gutenberg University, found that white wines such as Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio wear away enamel more quickly than red wines such as Merlot and claret.
Researchers say prolonged contact with white wine erodes the protective layer - making teeth more sensitive to cold, hot and sweet food. While it is obvious to drinkers that red wines can leave unsightly stains on teeth, the damage caused by white wines is less well known.
The research examined the effects of eight red and white wines from Germany, France, Italy and Spain on the enamel of teeth removed from men and women aged 40 to 65.
The teeth were soaked in wines for up to 24 hours and then carefully analysed under the microscope. Teeth soaked in whites had more damage than those left overnight in red wines.
‘Within the limits of this study, it can be predicted that frequent consumption of white wines might lead to severe dental erosion,’ said co-author Dr Brita Willershausen. Brushing teeth after consuming wine makes the condition worse drinking wine with food is preferable.
Source: Willershausena B, Callawaya A, Azraka B et al. Prolonged in vitro exposure to white wines enhances the erosive damage on human permanent teeth compared with red wines. Nutrition Research, Volume 29, Issue 8, Pages 558-567