What’s the Deal With Wine?

There’s a reason to celebrate today; it’s Repeal Day! Never heard of it? Allow Dr. Ryan Hussong and our team at Cornerstone Dental to fill you in.

On this day in 1933, the United States repealed the 18th Amendment, ending Prohibition and restoring the right to purchase and consume alcohol. To honor this historical event and the current holiday season, let’s take a look at the effects of alcohol, specifically red and white wine, on our teeth.

Although wine is consumed in incredibly high numbers all year round, its consumption during the holidays skyrockets. It’s no secret that red wine is among the most common tooth-staining substances, but the dangers of white wine are much more surprising and much less well-known.

The Reputation of Red

With its deep red color and high sugar content, red wine is one of the top tooth stainers out there. Often, professional teeth whitening can remove the stains caused by red wine and other common tooth stainers, including coffee, tea, soda, berries, and candy, but teeth-whitening procedures are not always 100 percent effective. While studies have shown that a glass of red wine a day is healthy for your heart, many people avoid it altogether and drink a glass of white wine instead.

Watch Out For White

Unfortunately white wine comes with its own risks. A recent study shows that white wine has an acid content that can lead to tooth enamel erosion and increase your risk of developing dark stains on your teeth.

Similar to the effects of GERD, excessive vomiting, and consuming citrus fruits and soda, your teeth are exposed to high levels of acid every time you take a sip of white wine. This acid attacks your enamel, which can cause it to erode, leading to tooth sensitivity, tooth decay, and other dental problems. In addition to this risk, white wine can actually increase your teeth’s susceptibility to staining. Whenever you eat or drink, your tooth enamel remains soft and vulnerable for a period of time lasting anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. Anything you eat or drink before your enamel rehardens has the potential to stain your teeth more than it normally would. This means that drinking after-dinner coffee or tea after a night of sipping on white wine can cause serious damage to your smile, and teeth whitening treatments may not be able to remove these deep, isolated stains.

If your teeth have already fallen victim to the effects of wine and other acidic and staining foods and substances, call for professional help. Dr. Hussong offers professional strength teeth whitening, cosmetic, and restorative dental treatments at his Polk City dental office. To reserve an appointment for the end of this year or early 2012, call Cornerstone Dental at (515) 984-6001.