Wine tasters’ teeth at risk of rapid erosion

Acid in wine can make teeth vulnerable to erosion “within minutes”, with professional wine tasters most at risk, according to new research.

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Tooth enamel can become vulnerable to erosion after just a few minutes of wine acid exposure.

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.

As reported by healthcanal.com, 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 morning of a wine tasting, we advise not brushing the teeth or, if that’s too unpalatable, chewing gum to stimulate saliva, which is naturally protective”, she said. “After a wine tasting, the teeth are likely to be much softer, so we recommend rinsing with water, and when it comes time to clean the teeth, just putting some toothpaste on your finger and cleaning with that. Cleaning with a brush when teeth are soft runs the risk of damaging the enamel.”

The results of the study were published in the Australian Dental Journal.

6 Responses to “Wine tasters’ teeth at risk of rapid erosion”

  1. Why do they not advise brushing teeth in the morning of a tasting?
    Best product available in the UK in my opinion are Duraphat toothpaste – only available on Prescription through your dentist.

    Ben, hangingditch wine merchants

  2. Do you know why they advise not brushing your teeth before a wine tasting? This contradicts other advice I have had in the past.

    In terms of toothpaste products I use duraphat which is a high fluoride (5k ppm) toothpaste only available on prescription, which is highly effective. Sensodyne repair & protect is the most effective over the counter product I have found.
    Anybody else have any other tips?

    Ben Stephenson, hangingditch wine merchants

  3. Interesting article,

    Do you know why they advise not brushing your teeth before a wine tasting? This contradicts other advice I have had in the past.

    In terms of toothpaste products I use duraphat which is a high fluoride (5k ppm) toothpaste only available on prescription, which is highly effective. Sensodyne repair & protect is the most effective over the counter product I have found.
    Anybody else have any other tips?

    Ben Stephenson, hangingditch wine merchants

  4. Plaque can provide protection, reducing exposure of enamel to acid. Here is a study showing its effectiveness.
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1834-7819.2005.tb00365.x/full

    GC tooth mousse can also be effective treatment , here is that study
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1834-7819.2007.00003.x/full

  5. Richard Bampfield says:

    I use the GC Tooth Mousse the morning before tastings and can recommend it. Beware the different flavours!

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