Dentist warns of ‘the Prosecco smile’
Brits are in danger of developing tooth decay from drinking too much Prosecco a dentist has warned in a worrying trend he’s dubbing “the Prosecco smile”.
As reported by The Independent, the perfect storm of carbonic acid, sugar and alcohol in Prosecco leaves those who guzzle a lot of it in danger of tooth rot.
Dr Mervyn Druian of the London Centre for Cosmetic Dentistry said women were most at risk of developing the sinister sounding “Prosecco smile”.
“Women especially enjoy Prosecco, but unlike wine, which you often have with a meal, it is very easy to just keep sipping Prosecco and have a few glasses without noticing.
“It is acidic and it has sugar in it so while a few glasses are fine, if you drink too much of it you are going to have a problem,” he said.
“The signs of Prosecco smile are where the teeth come out of the gum. It starts with a white line just below the gum, which if you probe it is soft, and that is the beginning of tooth decay, which can lead to fillings and dental work,” he added.
Professor Damien Walmsley, scientific adviser for the British Dental Association calculates that a flute of Prosecco contains around one teaspoon of sugar.
“Prosecco offers a triple whammy of carbonation, sweetness and alcohol, which can put your teeth at risk, leading to sensitivity and enamel erosion,” he told The Independent.
“Carbonated beverages get their fizz from the release of carbon dioxide, which dissolves into carbonic acid. This provides a refreshing taste but also makes these drinks more acidic,” he added.
The acidity in Prosecco weakens tooth enamel, which can then be damaged further if people brush their teeth too soon after drinking it.
Brut Prosecco has up to 12 grams per litre of sugar in it, while Extra Dry has 12-17 g/l. The two styles account for 98% of all DOC Prosecco produced.
The insatiable thirst for Prosecco DOC in the UK is at an all-time high, with Brits now quaffing over a third of the entire annual production of the Italian sparkler.
Last year the UK was responsible for the lion’s share of Prosecco sales in Europe, accounting for 75% of total sales at a value of £600 million.
Propelled to popularity during the recession, when consumers didn’t want to be seen to be flashing their cash, wallet-friendly Prosecco emerged as the ultimate crowd-pleaser. Light, fresh, slightly sweet, and with an appealing price point, it ticks all the boxes.