Page last updated: April 20, 2015
Acid in wine can make teeth vulnerable to erosion

Acid in wine can make teeth vulnerable to erosion “within minutes”, with professional wine tasters most at risk, according to new research. The University of Adelaide’s School of Dentistry replicated the short, multiple exposures to wine acid normally experienced by wine tasters as part of a study into the effects of acid in wine on teeth.

The study found that just 10 one-minute episodes of wine tasting was enough to erode tooth enamel, with teeth becoming vulnerable within a few minutes of wine acid exposure. “With professional wine tasters and winemakers tasting anywhere from 20 to 150 wines per day, and wine judges tasting up to 200 wines per day during wine shows, this represents a significant risk to their oral health,” said Dr Sarbin Ranjitkar, from the University’s School of Dentistry. “Our results reinforce the need for people working in the profession to take early, preventative measures, in consultation with their dentists, to minimise the risks to their teeth.”

Preventative measures include applying “remineralising agents in the form of calcium, phosphate and fluoride to coat and protect the teeth” the day before a tasting, according to Sue Bastian, associate professor at the University’s School of Agriculture, Food and Wine. The authors state that further research elucidating the fundamental mechanisms involved in early stages of erosion has the potential to lead to development of more effective preventive strategies.

Source: Nanoscratch testing for the assessment of enamel demineralization under conditions simulating wine erosion. SXR Kwek, M Mian, C Hall, Z Xie, R Yong, J Kaidonis, GC Townsend and S Ranjitkar. Australian Dental Journal. Article first published online: 26 Feb 2015.

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