Winemakers and wine judges are at greater risk than the general population of dental issues such as premature gum recession (from harsh tooth brushing), tooth erosion, tooth sensitivity and dry mouth due to their greater and frequent exposure to wine acids. The following resources provide information on these dental issues, as well as steps that can be taken to reduce the risks of damage to teeth from wine tasting.
Some of the products recommended by Australian dentists to help combat wine acid-related dental issues are listed below.
GC Tooth Mousse®
Developed by the University of Melbourne, GC Tooth Mousse® is a topical creme with bioavailable calcium and phosphate used to help prevent tooth erosion and sensitivity when tasting large amounts of wine such as at wine shows. This product is available from dentists.
Piekarz C, Ranjitkar S, Hunt D, McIntyre J. 2008. An in vitro assessment of the role of Tooth Mousse in preventing wine erosion. Aust. Dent. J. Mar; 53(1):22-5.
Also developed by the University of Melbourne, Recaldent gum contains amorphous calcium phosphate (CPP-ACP). When applied in the mouth CPP-ACP binds to the tooth and plaque and soft tissue surfaces localising calcium, phosphate and fluoride.
Chewing gum also increases saliva production. Saliva will enhance the effectiveness of CPP-ACP and the flavour will help stimulate saliva flow. The longer CPP-ACP and saliva are maintained in the mouth, the more effective the result.
High concentration fluoride toothpaste
Prescribed by dentists for high erosion and high cavity risk individuals, high fluoride toothpastes, such as Colgate Neutrafluor 5000, can be used as part of a dental protection plan.