For most of us, wine brings thoughts of relaxing nights at home with Netflix or catching up with our friends over one too many bottles. But it seems the thing that brings us great joy is causing a feud among Europeans. British dentists are claiming Italy’s prosecco might be ruining teeth, and the Italians are furious!
In an article published on The Guardian’s website earlier this week, top U.K. dentists warned that drinking the bubbly sugary tipple too often could lead to a “prosecco smile” – aka tooth gaps, receding gums, cavities, and rotten teeth.
But the Italian agriculture minister was quick to dismiss the warnings as “fake news”. Minister Maurizio Martina took to twitter to ask for the British media to “tell the truth.” He tweeted at The Guardian about the article, titled “Save your teeth – and six other reasons to give up prosecco,” saying,
”Dear Guardian, tell the truth – prosecco makes British people smile too! Stop fake news please.”
Minister Martina wasn’t the only Italian government official to address this issue — the president of the prosecco-producing region Veneto, Luca Zaia, said, “It’s nonsense — like saying that Sacher torte causes a tummy ache.”
“The notion that prosecco takes away your smile makes me laugh,” he added, noting that his region was full of “prosecco-drinking ultra-centenarians without a cavity.”
An Italian dentist also weighed in and decided to cast aspersions on British tooth-brushing. One thing is for certain, the Italians really don’t like having their drinks criticized, and we totally understand. But why can’t we all just get along?
The British media cited no scientific findings in the article, but instead quoted two dentists. One, Dr. Damien Walmsley, the scientific adviser for the British Dental Association, said, “Prosecco offers a triple whammy of carbonation, sweetness, and alcohol, which can put your teeth at risk, leading to sensitivity and enamel erosion.”
Dr. Mervyn Druian of the London Centre for Cosmetic Dentistry was also quoted, but later admitted in a telephone interview to being a bit perplexed. “With politics being what it is, people thought I was taking a swipe at the Brexit situation, which is crazy,” he said.
Dr. Druian added that any acidic drink — like colas, orange juice, or wine — can damage tooth enamel. He said that in his previous interview he had suggested that people should wait at least an hour to brush their teeth after drinking “so that the enamel can mineralize” — but that didn’t make the news.
So perhaps “prosecco smile” might be a little bit of an exaggeration, and prosecco is no more dangerous than other drinks we’re consuming all the time.
Forget the politics, just enjoy your wine and take care of your teeth!