We all hate getting those pesky red wine stains on our teeth. But could this dark beverage actually help our pearly whites? A February 2018 study suggests that two polyphenols — or compounds — found in wine might benefit our oral health. Before you get too excited, though, note that the study does have imitations — and no, it doesn't mean you can skip brushing your teeth after polishing off a glass.
In the new study, published in American Chemical Society's <a target="blank" href="https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jafc.7b05466">Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry_, researchers examined in-vitro models of bacteria that cause common dental problems like plaque, cavities, and periodontal disease. While in the lab, the scientists studied the effects that the two red wine polyphenols had on the bacteria. They also tested commercially available grape seed and red wine extracts.
They found that the two wine polyphenols in isolation — caffeic and p-coumaric acids — helped cut back on the bad bacteria's ability to stick to the cells. They also found that these polyphenols did a better job of doing so than the commercially available extracts. But when the researchers used the polyphenols along with an oral probiotic, they did an even better job of fending off bacteria.
Recent research has shown that polyphenols might promote health by interacting with bacteria in the gut, so it's pretty fascinating that these compounds may also help with health overall by fending off bacteria in the mouth, as well.
But this doesn't mean it's time to start pouring a glass to go with every meal; this study does have its limitations. The researchers in the study did not test these polyphenols or extracts on humans. This research is also in its very early stages, so it's too soon to draw a big conclusion from what has been studied so far. Much more research is needed to explore whether drinking red wine would have any major benefits for a live person's teeth. That said, we're happy to volunteer to be part of that study!
Also, we hope this is clear, but just in case it isn't: This study is not a good reason for you to brush your teeth with wine or leave wine stains on your teeth overnight. We bet you're relieved to hear that!
Next, learn what foods taste surprisingly delicious when paired with beer in the video below:
h/t Science Daily