Professional wine tasters putting teeth at risk, study finds

Professional wine tasters may appear to have one of the world’s best jobs, but a new study has highlighted the potential threat to their teeth.

Researchers at the University of Adelaide found that just 10 one-minute swill-and-spit sessions are enough to soften tooth enamel and make teeth vulnerable to erosion.

The study, published in the Australian Dental Journal, found the acid in most wines would render teeth vulnerable to erosion “within minutes”.

The author of the study, Dr Sarbin Ranjitkar, said professional wine tasters and winemakers sample anything from 20 to 150 wines a day, with judges tasting up to 200 a day during wine shows. These levels of exposure to acid represent a “significant risk to their oral health”, she says.

“Our results reinforce the need for people working in the profession to take early, preventative measures, in consultation with their dentists, to minimise the risks to their teeth.”