The beautiful Texas Hill Country offers a wide variety of sweet spots to relax and simply enjoy wine. Wineries seem to be popping up all around central Texas, all offering delicious wine, fun tours and … acid erosion!
Yes, we said it. Wine is acidic and therefore harmful to your teeth, and wine tasting might put you at an even higher risk of acid erosion!
According to online Wikipedia, “the acids in wine are an important component in both winemaking and the finished product of wine. They are present in both grapes and wine, having direct influences on the color, balance and taste of the wine as well as the growth and vitality of yeast during fermentation and protecting the wine from bacteria.” This acid found in wine eats away at the enamel on your teeth, or the calcified thin shell covering and protecting each tooth. Once this enamel is gone, it is not replenished.
The average pH of wine is as low as 3.5 and the normal pH in your mouth should be closer to neutral. Since enamel erosion in your mouth begins to happen when the pH level falls below 5.7, one taste of wine can begin to weaken enamel. According to a study from the University of Adelaide in Australia, those who partake in wine tasting are at a higher risk of acid erosion, aside from those who simply sip on a glass of wine. The swirling, swishing and spitting allows for the acid to linger longer in the mouth and cause more potential damage. These researchers advise frequent wine tasters to use fluoride treatments to help protect their teeth.
Fortunately, there are lower acidic wines and still wines that have less effect on erosion of enamel. Note that it helps to drink water while enjoying your wine, or even add some delicious cheese, to dilute the acid levels. And don’t forget to postpone brushing for at least one hour after finishing your wine to allow the softened enamel to harden again.
This may be a hard blog to read for all you wine lovers. However, knowing the facts, how to minimize the erosive effects, and visiting Dr. Kimes for regular checkups and fluoride treatments, Texas hill country wine tasting tours will remain a hot commodity!