SPOKANE, Wash. – Some new studies posted online are saying if you drink wine and give up exercise, you will live to be 90 with no cavities.
News articles linking wine and alcohol to health and longevity have been getting a lot of attention. They are not the first and, more than likely, will not be the last.
It did not take experts long to raise some red flags.
KREM 2 checked in with Anne Wetmore, Chair of EWU Department of Dental Hygiene, Dentist Allen S. Ruane and his Registered Dental Hygienist Patricia Ruane, who have been in practice for more than 35 years in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to help verify this claim.
Turns out, dental experts were not aware of these scientific claims. Second, they all agree that news outlets publishing these claims without citing specific studies and using confusing wording is not beneficial to readers.
Professor Wetmore found two studies that appeared to be the source of these claims. A 2014 study that observed only 75 people and another study published this month in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. In summary, both studies did find a potential link between drinking wine that contains healthy polyphenols and antioxidants like resveratrol and decreased mouth and gum bacteria when these antioxidants are combined with probiotics and antibacterial products. However, they do not prove that drinking wine will lead to a healthy mouth.
KREM 2 also tried to verify the claim reported in the news that alcohol contributed more to longevity than exercise in older adults by consulting local experts at WSU, but they were not able to find the source material on which that claim was based.
At the end of the day, many of us would much rather have a glass of wine than floss our teeth. According to my experts, brushing combined with a healthy diet and regular checkups are still the best defense against cavities and mouth bacteria.