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Those heart-healthy polyphenols may have a special effect on keeping teeth and gums in shape, too.

Zee Krstic
February 22, 2018

We're big fans of a daily glass of wine (in moderate amounts) —and it doesn't hurt that there's ample research into how wine can benefit your health, including reducing the risk of heart disease, and preventing dementia.

But if you've ever spent time brushing the wine-stains off your teeth, you may be surprised to read that it's apparently also good for dental hygiene. A report published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, suggests that polyphenols found in red wine in particular can actually help regulate your oral health.

Polyphenols are basically antioxidants, meaning they help protect the body from harmful free-radicals that cause inflammation. It's those magical polyphenols in red wine that help your body stay in tip top shape.

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The team of scientists behind the study wanted to know if the natural and grape-based polyphenols found in wine could do more than aid inflammation. Using grape seeds and red wine extracts, the scientists tested red wine as an agent against bacteria often found on teeth and gums. They were hoping to see the wine reduce plaque build up, cavities, and other oral diseases.

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Using cells that are very similar to natural gum tissue, the scientists did indeed find that two particular polyphenols—caffeic and p-coumaric acid—were effective at stopping common bacteria from sticking onto the gum itself.

"The results highlighted the antiadhesive capacity of [the polyphenols]," the report says. When combined with oral probiotics, the team also found that the polyphenols were even better at blocking bacteria within your mouth.

While the report isn't clear on why exactly polyphenols are able to stop bacteria from collecting on your teeth and gums, their findings are just another reason to enjoy red wine. It could be keeping your mouth cleaner—though you still have to brush.