Drinking white wine regularly could do damage to your pearly whites -- more so than drinking red wine, says a team of German researchers reporting in the journal Nutrition Research.
Researchers from Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz analyzed the effects of eight different varieties of red and white wines and their effects on extracted adult teeth that were soaked for 24 hours.
White wine was found to do the most damage to the protective layer of the teeth because of its high acidic content, which lowers calcium and mineral levels and erodes the enamel. Based on their findings, the researchers said that frequent consumption of white wine could lead to severe dental erosion.
Riesling, a white grape varietal, was found to have the lowest pH content, or the highest acidity, the researchers said. They also noted that the custom of eating cheese has some scientific foundation and could counter the acidic effects of wine because the high amounts of calcium in cheese neutralizes saliva and staves off damage from the acid.
"The tradition of enjoying different cheeses for dessert, or in combination with drinking wine, might have a beneficial effect on preventing dental erosion since cheeses contain calcium in a high concentration," they wrote.
The findings should be considered with skepticism, according to the UK's National Health Service. Because the study was based on prolonged exposure to acid of extracted teeth in a laboratory setting, the results are not conclusive. Other beverages such as fruit juices, sugary sodas, liqueurs and spirits are likely to produce similar results, it said on its Behind the Headlines website, which monitors health studies reported in the media.