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Think a wine taster has the best job?

Research now shows that wine can soften teeth enamel almost immediately after a drink.

Research from the University of Adelaide suggests wine lovers take preventative measures against erosion. According to an article published in the latest edition of the Australian Dental Journal, demineralisation occurs as early as 10 minutes after enamel has been exposed to the organic acids of the beverage. Previous research only found a softening effect in teeth exposed to wine after 1 hour.

This places wine-tasters especially at increased risk of tooth wear, the researchers said.

Professional tasters usually test up to 150 wines per day, and wine judges even more. With wine-tasting, the beverage is retained in the mouth for up to 60 seconds before it is spat out.

The research simulated the conditions of the process by exposing extracted teeth repeatedly to white wine and artificial saliva. At 1 and 10 minutes, a nano-scratch test was conducted and the result was an increasing scratch depth (softening of the enamel). Surface roughness of the enamel also increased by almost 200 per cent.

With pH values of 3 and 4, the acidity of wine is comparable to most soft drinks due to their high concentration of organic acids.

The researchers recommend preventative measures for wine lover drinkers including chewing gum and rinsing with water immediately after drinking. The application of remineralisation agents, such as calcium, phosphate and fluoride in special toothpastes are also encouraged.

Of course if you drink red wine, there is the added risk of staining and premature yellowing of teeth. All the more important to keep up your dental maintenance. If wine drinking is affecting your teeth, speak to us about management and remineralisation products to prevent further issues.