Red Wine Could Help Fight Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

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BBC News. 21 February 2018

Red wine has previously been linked to a range of supposed health benefits, from helping the heart to lowering the risk of diabetes. A recent study suggests it contains chemicals that can help in the fight against tooth decay and gum disease.

Researchers found compounds from the drink, known as polyphenols, helped fend off harmful bacteria in the mouth. Previous studies have suggested that polyphenols are also antioxidants that protect the body from harmful free radicals and recent studies have indicated that polyphenols might also boost health by working with “good bacteria” in our gut.

Researchers found the wine polyphenols and red wine extracts reduced the bacteria’s ability to stick to the cells, but the polyphenols – caffeic and p-coumaric acids – were more effective. When combined with the Streptococcus dentisani – believed to be an oral probiotic, which stimulates the growth of good bacteria – the polyphenols were even better at inhibiting the pathogenic bacteria.



Where do you find polyphenols?

Red wine is rich in polyphenols but they are also found in a range of other drinks and foods:




Black grapes






Green tea

Black tea


Orange juice and lemon juice

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

The British Dental Association’s scientific adviser, Professor Damien Walmsley, said the study was “interesting” but it did not mean people should start drinking more.

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