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White Wine Also Causes Stains On Our Teeth


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By Margarita Nahapetyan

Dental professionals from the New York University College of Dentistry, discovered a surprising phenomenon - white wine as well as red wine, has the same damaging impact on our teeth, leaving unpleasant dark stains on them.

The scientists found that drinking white wine exposes people to levels of acid that can lead to tooth erosion and can potentially create grooves in teeth. The grooves, in turn, allow chemicals in beverages, such as coffee and tea, to penetrate deeper into the teeth, therefore raising the risk of the development of dark dental stains.

The new research was conducted by Dr. Mark Wolff, professor and chairman of the Department of Cariology & Comprehensive Care at NYU's College of Dentistry, and Cristina M. Dobrescu, a third-year student at New York University. For the study, Dr. Wolff and Cristina Dobrescu compared two sets of six cow teeth, whose surface closely resembles that of human teeth, with the help of a spectrophotometer, an instrument that us used to measure color intensities, to evaluate staining levels.

The researchers soaked one half of specimen either in white wine or red wine, and the other half in water for one hour, before immersing all the teeth to black tea. Afterwards they compared and analyzed the two halves and found that the half that has been soaked in white wine, before being soaked in tea, displayed a significant amount of erosion and stains. "Dipping teeth in white wine for one hour is similar to the effect of sipping the wine with dinner," said Dr. Mark Wolff.

As to red whine, the team came to the conclusion that its effect on teeth is anyway much more damaging than the effect of white whine. Cows' teeth that have been immersed in red wine, became significantly darker than those in the white wine group, after being exposed to black tea, most probably because of a highly-pigmented substance in red wine known as chromogen, the experts explained, and added that the same compound is also present in tea.

Dr. Wolff says that individuals who prefer to consume white wine, should not quit their drinking habits, as the wine itself does not appear to be the culprit - it is about what a person eats and drinks while consuming it that counts. If you are drinking white wine, and at the same time you are eating white grapes, and cheese, there is no chance that you are going develop any staining, he says.

According to the expert, brushing teeth with a tooth paste that contains a whitening agent, after consuming wine, can solve the problem of tooth erosion, because softened enamel is susceptible to the abrasive properties of a tooth paste. In order to prevent damaging effects of wine and other beverages, Dr. Wolff suggests to consume drinks in moderation, and wait at least 30 minutes before brushing the teeth. This would allow soften enamel to re-harden again. "If you frequently consume sports drinks, ask your dentist if you should use an acid-neutralizing rematerializing tooth paste to help re-harden soft enamel," he advised.

The findings were presented this week at the annual meeting of the International Association for Dental Research in Miami.

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