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Study: Red Wine Prevents Tooth Decay, Gum Disease

U.S. News & World Report logo U.S. News & World Report 2/21/2018 Katelyn Newman

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Video: Drinking wine may help fend off cavities and gum disease (Provided by GeoBeats)

It may stain your teeth, but red wine contains chemicals that could also help prevent tooth decay and gum disease, according to a study published Wednesday in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

A team of researchers in Spain discovered that red wine contains polyphenol, a micronutrient that reduces the ability of bad bacteria known to cause dental plaque, cavities and gum disease to adhere to teeth and gums.

The study further links drinking red wine in moderation to multiple health benefits, including helping the heart, boosting good bacteria in the gut, lowering the risk of diabetes and increasing a person's longevity.

While the results could eventually lead to changes in oral health care, the researchers said future investigations would need to be conducted to determine more about what was causing the bacteria to be hampered. Some skeptical of the study's findings told the BBC that it did not mean people should start consuming more wine for oral health.

"[T]he acidic nature of wine means that consuming a lot of these drinks will damage the enamel of the teeth," said professor Damien Walmsley, the British Dental Association's scientific adviser. "[U]ntil the benefits of this research are shown clinically, it is best to consume wine in moderation and with a meal to minimize the risk of tooth erosion."

If you're under the legal age limit or not the biggest wine fan, though, other drinks – such as coffee, green tea, black tea, cider, orange and lemon juice – as well as food – like blueberries, raspberries, kiwis, black grapes, cherries and beans – also contain polyphenols.

Slideshow: 20 questions you're too afraid to ask your doctor (but should) (Courtesy: Mom.me) 

Why can't I lose weight?: There are many reasons beyond too many calories and too little exercise that are making it impossible for you to lose weight. Some of those reasons require medical intervention. If you haven't brought it up with your doctor, be sure to do so. A month before your next checkup, record everything you eat and any physical activity and show it to her, when she brings up diet and exercise. 20 Questions You're Too Afraid to Ask Your Doctor (But Should)

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