Its not just Prosecco! – Arifa Sultana

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  Posted by: The Probe      6th January 2018

There is little doubt that a glass of Prosecco is a crowd-pleaser. It is refreshing and light and with a very appealing price tag it is hardly surprising that sales of this bubbly booze are booming in the UK. It seems that the British love the Italian connection, perhaps imagining the Tuscan hills as they sip it in the sun. Certainly, it has become the tipple of choice at parties and celebrations and as a nation we consumed 39 million litres of Prosecco last year.[1] Nevertheless, as you may have seen in the headlines, the popularity of this Italian fizz is leaving oral health experts in a tizz.

 

You may have heard about the perils of Prosecco and how it can cause the ‘Prosecco Smile’ of rotting teeth and receding gums. Similarly, the scientific adviser for the British Dental Association, Professor Damien Walmsley warned: “Prosecco offers a triple whammy of carbonation, sweetness and alcohol, which can put your teeth at risk, leading to sensitivity and enamel erosion.” He provided further explanation by stating, “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. Added to that, Prosecco comes with about one teaspoon of sugar per flute.” Yet this and other comments from dental experts have sent the Italian producers into a frenzy due to the injustice of singling out Prosecco as a particularly dangerous product.

 

As a dental professional, you are probably inclined to agree that it is not just Prosecco. It is likely that you are constantly warning patients not to over-indulge in sugary or acidic drinks like cola, smoothies and fruit juices and equally, there is a vast range of different wines which could pose similar risks and damage to oral health. It is true that Prosecco has a pH of 3.25 and lies within the acidic side of the pH spectrum, but most wines range between 2.5 and around 4.5pH.[2] With regards to residual sugar, Prosecco normally contains between 12 and 15 grammes per litre yet, in the case of say a Californian White Zinfandel, the residual sugar content could be around 26 grammes per litre and in some of the other sweet or dessert wines it can be as much as 45g per litre.

 

Interestingly, for many people dry wines are synonymous with sophistication, whilst sweeter wines that mask the sourness and tannin taste are associated with the less experienced wine drinker. Consequently, many of the best selling wine brands avoid using words like ‘sweet’ or ‘sugar’ on their labels, even though the contents contains plenty of it. As well as the somewhat lacking information on bottles, some wine drinkers have other misconceptions too. For example, most people know that red wine can stain the teeth, yet many do not realise that the higher acidity content of white wine is more erosive to tooth enamel. An acid attack from white wine can soften and etch tooth enamel making the teeth weaker and more susceptible to long term damage as well as discolouration from other foods and drinks. Also, many patients are aware that drinking wine with a meal slows down the rate at which alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream, but what they may not know is that combining wine with food is less damaging on the teeth. Eating boosts the production of saliva, helping to neutralise acid. In addition, some foods that contain the protein casein like yoghurt or those that have a high calcium content, such as cheese, can limit the wine’s erosive potential and help to replenish the minerals in tooth enamel. Nevertheless, eating with a glass of wine may be a good idea, but it is important to point out that having strawberries, adding lemons or oranges or mixing wine with fruit juice to make a Bellini or a Bucks Fizz for instance, takes the acidity of the drink to a whole new level.

 

As with all alcoholic drinks, wine can dry out oral tissues causing a negative effect on the self-cleaning properties of the mouth and making the breath smell unpleasant. Bacteria thrives in a dry mouth and oral malodour arises as enzymes in anaerobic bacteria break down amino acids and form foul-smelling gases known as volatile sulphur compounds (VSCs)[3] Dental professionals should ensure that patients realise the importance of remaining hydrated, perhaps drinking water alongside alcoholic beverages. In addition, recommend the use of CB12 White – an advanced, clinically proven mouthwash with the technology to effectively prevent unpleasant smelling breath and also lift tooth stains for a natural whitening effect.

 

Patients may be enticed by the supermarket discounts that are available on Prosecco, but lets not single it out. Advise your patients that all alcoholic drinks should be consumed in moderation and if they want to keep their teeth sparkling – an effective oral health routine is necessary to counteract any undesirable or damaging dental effects.

 

For more information about CB12 and how it could benefit your patients, please visit www.cb12.co.uk

 

[1] The Grocer. Focus on Wine. Britains New National Drink? by Emma Sturgess with data from IRI. www.thegrocer.co.uk/download.aspx?ac=95122 [Accessed 5th September 2017]

[2] Wine Folly. Understanding Acidity in Wine. http://winefolly.com/review/understanding-acidity-in-wine/ [Accessed 5th September 2017]

[3] Aylıkcı BU et al Halitosis: From diagnosis to management. Journal of Natural Science, Biology, and Medicine. 2013;4(1):14-23. doi:10.4103/0976-9668.107255. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3633265/ [Accessed 5th September 2016]

There is little doubt that a glass of Prosecco is a crowd-pleaser. It is refreshing and light and with a very appealing price tag it is hardly surprising that sales of this bubbly booze are booming in the UK. It seems that the British love the Italian connection, perhaps imagining the Tuscan hills as they sip it in the sun. Certainly, it has become the tipple of choice at parties and celebrations and as a nation we consumed 39 million litres of Prosecco last year.[1] Nevertheless, as you may have seen in the headlines, the popularity of this Italian fizz is leaving oral health experts in a tizz.

 

You may have heard about the perils of Prosecco and how it can cause the ‘Prosecco Smile’ of rotting teeth and receding gums. Similarly, the scientific adviser for the British Dental Association, Professor Damien Walmsley warned: “Prosecco offers a triple whammy of carbonation, sweetness and alcohol, which can put your teeth at risk, leading to sensitivity and enamel erosion.” He provided further explanation by stating, “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. Added to that, Prosecco comes with about one teaspoon of sugar per flute.” Yet this and other comments from dental experts have sent the Italian producers into a frenzy due to the injustice of singling out Prosecco as a particularly dangerous product.

 

As a dental professional, you are probably inclined to agree that it is not just Prosecco. It is likely that you are constantly warning patients not to over-indulge in sugary or acidic drinks like cola, smoothies and fruit juices and equally, there is a vast range of different wines which could pose similar risks and damage to oral health. It is true that Prosecco has a pH of 3.25 and lies within the acidic side of the pH spectrum, but most wines range between 2.5 and around 4.5pH.[2] With regards to residual sugar, Prosecco normally contains between 12 and 15 grammes per litre yet, in the case of say a Californian White Zinfandel, the residual sugar content could be around 26 grammes per litre and in some of the other sweet or dessert wines it can be as much as 45g per litre.

 

Interestingly, for many people dry wines are synonymous with sophistication, whilst sweeter wines that mask the sourness and tannin taste are associated with the less experienced wine drinker. Consequently, many of the best selling wine brands avoid using words like ‘sweet’ or ‘sugar’ on their labels, even though the contents contains plenty of it. As well as the somewhat lacking information on bottles, some wine drinkers have other misconceptions too. For example, most people know that red wine can stain the teeth, yet many do not realise that the higher acidity content of white wine is more erosive to tooth enamel. An acid attack from white wine can soften and etch tooth enamel making the teeth weaker and more susceptible to long term damage as well as discolouration from other foods and drinks. Also, many patients are aware that drinking wine with a meal slows down the rate at which alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream, but what they may not know is that combining wine with food is less damaging on the teeth. Eating boosts the production of saliva, helping to neutralise acid. In addition, some foods that contain the protein casein like yoghurt or those that have a high calcium content, such as cheese, can limit the wine’s erosive potential and help to replenish the minerals in tooth enamel. Nevertheless, eating with a glass of wine may be a good idea, but it is important to point out that having strawberries, adding lemons or oranges or mixing wine with fruit juice to make a Bellini or a Bucks Fizz for instance, takes the acidity of the drink to a whole new level.

As with all alcoholic drinks, wine can dry out oral tissues causing a negative effect on the self-cleaning properties of the mouth and making the breath smell unpleasant. Bacteria thrives in a dry mouth and oral malodour arises as enzymes in anaerobic bacteria break down amino acids and form foul-smelling gases known as volatile sulphur compounds (VSCs)[3] Dental professionals should ensure that patients realise the importance of remaining hydrated, perhaps drinking water alongside alcoholic beverages. In addition, recommend the use of CB12 White – an advanced, clinically proven mouthwash with the technology to effectively prevent unpleasant smelling breath and also lift tooth stains for a natural whitening effect.

Patients may be enticed by the supermarket discounts that are available on Prosecco, but lets not single it out. Advise your patients that all alcoholic drinks should be consumed in moderation and if they want to keep their teeth sparkling – an effective oral health routine is necessary to counteract any undesirable or damaging dental effects.

 

For more information about CB12 and how it could benefit your patients, please visit www.cb12.co.uk

 

 

 

 

[1] The Grocer. Focus on Wine. Britains New National Drink? by Emma Sturgess with data from IRI. www.thegrocer.co.uk/download.aspx?ac=95122 [Accessed 5th September 2017]

[2] Wine Folly. Understanding Acidity in Wine. http://winefolly.com/review/understanding-acidity-in-wine/ [Accessed 5th September 2017]

[3] Aylıkcı BU et al Halitosis: From diagnosis to management. Journal of Natural Science, Biology, and Medicine. 2013;4(1):14-23. doi:10.4103/0976-9668.107255. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3633265/ [Accessed 5th September 2016]

 


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