Bad dental news for prosecco fans

prosecco and tooth decayIt seems that in the last ten years prosecco has become the drink of choice in the UK. In 2009 we were buying two million litres of the Italian fizz which is an impressive statistic itself and by 2016 this had turned into a staggering 77 million litres with no sign of the growth abating. Great news for the Italian wine industry but it turns out it’s not all positive for the UK’s dental health.

Regardless of the well documented damage that overconsumption of alcohol can cause it turns out that the sparkling wine can also cause dental decay.

What’s the problem with prosecco?

Actually, all carbonated drinks (even water and sugar free soda) pose a threat of tooth decay. The CO2 which gives the drinks the fizz is converted by a chemical reaction in the mouth to carbonic acid and whilst this gives the drink a bit of a tangy bite it also erodes tooth enamel, particularly at the back of the mouth.

With prosecco, it’s not just the bubbles which pose a problem, it’s also got a high sugar content compared with similar sparkling wines like the Spanish cava and of course champagne. Every 125ml flute contains approximately one teaspoon of sugar and everyone knows the damage that the sweet stuff does to the teeth.

What can be done to avoid tooth decay?

Perhaps you could reconsider your favourite tipple. Avoiding sweet carbonated drinks is generally good practice but if you just can’t go without a glass or two of prosecco then try to limit the intake. Following it with a water chaser may look a little odd but your teeth will benefit from it as some of the sugar residue and carbonic acid are washed away. Also, don’t forget to brush your teeth for at least two minutes before you go to sleep. It’s all too easy after a couple of drinks to forget your usual routine when your teeth are at their most vulnerable.